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Life’s Bottom Line

A friend asked me a while back what I’d say if asked what the bottom line in life is. You know, what is the one reality, or belief, or whatever, that is central and essential to life being lived, and lived well? What a question.. What a question. How on earth was a person to know what was life’s bottom line? I chewed on it for a few weeks… and maybe months… and then suddenly it came to me.

If I was Henry Ford and had made the automobile, what would make me happy? Probably that my cars would sell and be driven to death, right? Ok, so God created me, a human being… a brilliantly thinking, feeling, creating, natural wonder of the world, and what could He want more than for me to be born, breathe, thrive, live, feel, think, and engage each moment fully. I am a human being, my bottom line is to fully be me.

What a wonderful thing—to just be. Like the flowers in my yard and the tree over our back porch, within me is the full measure of life and everything else to grow up and thrive. I don’t have to make something of myself to be complete. I came into this world small and wrinkled, but with every bit of everything necessary to expand through the years into a full-sized woman, complete with dreams, desires, abilities and personality.

And this is life’s bottom line. Live and be. Life is a gift I never asked for—it was given to me in its fullness and like the Apostle Paul says, everything needful is ours through Jesus Christ. God set it up that way. I’m innately wired with vision, purpose and destiny. I only need to learn the practice of living and being uniquely myself.

Now as beautiful and simple as that all sounds, It wouldn’t be fair to stop there without mentioning that we all have this condition that has warped us and polluted our grandeur and dignity. Our race was created to resemble God Himself, and yet we’ve been drug down into confusion by a condition that consumes us. As one author put it, we are the most glorious and magnificent of ruins. Brilliant and yet disfigured by a condition of evil—a Hebrew word from Genesis that can be translated with all the negative words just used in the above sentences.

This reality of evil threatens my living and being. It has shattered my psyche into a million pieces, turning my natural instincts backwards and making life seem like a mammoth puzzle seemingly impossible to put together. Evil cuts to the core of not so much what I do, but who I am, my personhood, my livingness. It’s no accident that we stumble and struggle, coping instead of living and shutting down our own thoughts and feelings. No, this is the norm of our evil condition.

And yet, there is hope. We all still resemble God, so we must go to war against evil. We cannot consciously surrender ourselves at any time. This was what Jesus taught. He pointed out that our very nature had gone south, but that His love and guidance could slowly bring the real person we were back to life again. He also clarified the threat of death that hovers in this evil condition, and received it’s full threat in his own dying, breaking the cycle of eternal endings and restoring our chance at eternal living, something we all deeply long for.

And so to know and practice the teachings of Jesus is the only way I have found to live and be completely me. He has taught me that I was created to thrive. He has taught me that I am fully crafted and innately wired for all that my destiny here on earth asks of me. Yes, and He has explained why it’s all such a struggle. He has demystified the great confusions and passions co-existing within my soul. And in the end, taking His word for it, I believe I will be lifted from this evil condition and restored to pure living and being forever.

Clarissa Worley Sproul writes from the Pacific Northwest.

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About Clarissa Worley Sproul

Clarissa Worley Sproul

writes from the Pacific Northwest.

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