Note: VainGlory is a rather self-aware title of a MOBA game.
There are many passages of God’s words that can attest to the hidden vanity of hard work, the unexpected hollowness that follows even great achievement. Is the hard work itself, the great achievement, thus, bad? No. It is good (Well, mostly. For nothing is so simply put into words in a sin-infected, sin-encroached world. To lay out the details of work, as good as it was made in the beginning, the occupation of the majority of our lives, is another topic. I dare not call great achievement ungood. It was made to be good by the source of all good. The only ungood is the misguided expectations we cultivate about it).
So why is it vacuous? It is the reasons that lies behind the work. The whys that flow from our hearts, from our deep-seated desires, even if hidden from ourselves they may be. And that flow is often polluted by the wrong reasons, the compromised connections between what we think will satisfy us, will give our souls rest, and what we truly desire. In that sense, even reason is confounded. Reason can only flow from what we know (🌕).
However much of the truth we know, reason follows. However much are the lies in our psyche, reason also follows, crookedly.
Here is a compromised connection, albeit a heavily reinforced one. The walls will not fall so easily around this deep-rooted, entrenched idea. Every moment, somewhere on earth, it is being reinforced. Perhaps it is seen as an ultimate salvation, the only way, the only way one knows how. If this is you, I dare not snatch it from you if I did not have better, more life-giving, more freedom-centric choice.
So what is the why? To save oneself to love. To be seen, heard, served, taken care of, accepted. And to do it in kind to the other. And this undulates, a never ending spiral of reciprocating love. A love that will sustain through work, through play, through rest. A love that will see us through both easy and hard times – especially the hard. For the hard times are the ones we fear if we are alone. A kind of eternal love, which given time, will allow us to be truly, utterly known. We want to be known, as much as we want to know others. This is a genesis (🌕🌕🌕) desire of ours. So for this, we gain the prestige and power of fame, wealth, and influence. Great achievement is our only salvation.
Here is one great expectation (🌕🌕) of great achievement – that one would finally receive the love one so desires. That, satisfied with love, the soul will finally be at rest.
That is one great expectation of great achievement that will fail. And when it does, one would feel so certainly (not the fickle kind of feeling) that one has truly lost one’s life. To trade one’s soul for great achievement leaves one’s soul – not body – lifeless. To use a baser analogy, one’s soul is left spiritually penniless. It is an unseen agony, because it is not a destitution of the body, of the seen reality, of the physical realm.
Thus, to get all this achievement, all this glory, for the purposes of meeting the needs of one’s soul, the thirst for the soul’s rest, ends in failure.
It is glory, but in vain, because there are deeper, beyond skin-deep, desires that are not met. Glory, but vain. Vainglory.
That was me. Oldest child and son in a large family, Bible study leader, PhD candidate. I thought it was enough for my soul to be satisfied.
I hated myself. I hated myself already even, rejected myself utterly, even before the first and last girl of my life rejected me as well. With reckless abandon I hated myself. All my achievements meant nothing in the tsunami of my own self-hatred.
Self-hatred for all the years I wasted on games and pornography. Those years will never come back. I could have been earning lots of money, racked up plenty of work experience, not have a debt. But no. I had squandered so much, and the regret was finally pouring. i was completely overwhelmed. I could have chosen a less academic track, I could have … it is an endless flow once the tap of regret is turned on.
Rightfully, she ran from a man who would not, who could not accept himself, let alone accept other people.
And so my self-hatred bore down onto me, and so I found myself asking, memorably, genuinely, with all my heart. Arms outstretched to the heavens (the physical heavens, lest you consider me a believer of the old man who sits in the clouds),
It was a pipsqueak of a phrase, uttered from a bed of tears, through a croaky mouth bent with grief.
That was 588 days ago. That is why I write here. Hope came himself. That is why I don’t want to kill myself anymore.
Disclaimer: When i title the last section as “work” i don’t necessarily mean my own work. God works, and HIS works can manifest in our individual lives, lives that are slowly interwoven – if we let HIM, and as HE wills – into the fabric of HIS eternal, global body. HIS eternal and global church. HIS eternal and global family. my life is like a thread in a vast, exquisite tapestry – HIS tapestry of history.
🌕 credits 🌕
🌕 C.S. Lewis
🌕🌕 Charles Dickens
🌕🌕🌕 Moses of the Old Testament
😈 imaginary demon comments😈
#anonguy0127: Heh, this guy is using inclusive language. Don’t say “we” when you don’t know me! (woo, dat rhymed).
#hardworker6991: Huh, sounds like a bum’s excuses for not working hard. Only bums will listen to this bum. This guy definitely lives in his parent’s basement.
#sweatyangel312: Chitty-chitty chat-chat. As if we, the global citizenry, needed another KAI to talk. Hope PO will send you someplace else. (Listen to this track guys, from Kung-Fu Panda 3. Its sick. Makes pooping epic.)
#repentantdemon3456: He’s a keyboard warrior, we are keyboard warriors. Lets care for our own beams first, bros.