There lies deep within each one of us an innate, unquenchable desire for significance, a yearning to immortalize ourselves. This desire to eternalize our existence is almost insatiable. Our nature recoils at the prospect of dying and sinking into obscurity; being forgotten and becoming lost into the blurry dust of antiquity. To mitigate this fear we strive to make an indelible impact on history, to ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to share in our legacy. This is what usually drives us to achieve our highest potential in life. We cultivate immortality symbols such as altruistic projects, academic achievements, and ideologies which outlive us particularly when they are preserved in writing, or made manifest in architecture, etc. We attach labels to our names in relation to our accomplishments to distinguish us from the rest of the crowd. We long for our children to keep our memory alive to successive generations. This inherent aversion toward death, and the incessant craving for immortality attests to the fact that we were created for another world. “He has put eternity in our hearts,” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are princes and princesses in exile, as it were; constantly being haunted by rumors of our other world.
Death came into this world as an intruder, a consequence of sin, hence our deep revulsion and fear of it. Satan has diligently used this and other diabolical strategies to try and eclipse our significance and spiritual heritage. He has endeavored to emphasize the transience of our physiology so that we can be plunged into a death-terror neurosis. But Jesus has annulled Satan’s plans for mankind. In Him our longing for immortality has been secured. Jesus, not our achievements or accomplishments, becomes the source of our immortal identity and significance. We no longer have to flail about, grasping at the thin straws of worldly accolades to find our worth or significance. In Christ our original luster has been restored.
Of course, this is not say that we should be idle or that we should not desire to excel in our endeavors. After all, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) is the counsel from Scripture. Furthermore, in the Parable of the Talents, the individuals who doubled their talents were commended and abundantly rewarded. The point is that we do not draw our worth from what we do, but from who we are as children of God by creation and by redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. This is what gives us eternal significance.