Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wednesday, March 01, 2017
Feeling minuscule (Photography by Josua Chan)

How is a man’s worth calculated? Is it by the cash in his wallet or by the credit he has with a bank? Does it have anything to do with his insurance? How do you measure a man’s value?

In a world where everything is given a standard, a man is perceived in digits. He is always assigned a number. He is the firstborn of his siblings. He’s the second in command to a project. He’s the last to finish a race. Even in prison, he is given a serial number. If his place in society is not determined, he might as well be unknown.

As Good As Anonymous

I’m yet to hit mid-life but living feels like I’m just about done. The mood I’m in is always of anonymity. The more I desire to have something, the less content I become. With every progress I make in anything I do, I’m tempted to withdraw in seclusion. I’m starting to believe that I was born to be unknown.

Who wants to know someone like me anyway? I’ve got nothing in my wallet. I have bank debt the size of an actor’s ego. And I have no insurance whatsoever. My profile can’t be listed anywhere. I'm as good as anonymous.

The temptation to withdraw in seclusion
Certainty In My Uncertainty

If there’s anything that I’m certain of, it’s my uncertainty. I’m done doing the daily grind even if the calendar seems to say otherwise. It’s the same thing with trying to beat the deadline. There’s always more of it coming my way no matter how fast I finish. I’m way past any milestone I can think of and yet there’s still so much being brandished before me to be achieved. Right now, I’m basically facing a wall and there’s nothing written on it. Not even a doodle to hint where I should go. And so I stay put where I’m at – the unknown which can’t be measured.

You would think that I deserve to simply end my life given my sorry state of mind. Who would notice my absence anyway except for me?

Believe it or not, it's what most suicide attempts are made of -- a clarity of being no one in a sea of entitled faces. Successful attempts prove that in the most ironic way. After one embraces the inevitable on his own terms, the victim suddenly becomes known and is decked as a fallen legend in everyone's warped minds. Finally, he is measured. At last, he is weighed.

As natural as the ground we're standing on (Photography by Josua Chan)
Beyond The Enigma Is A Judge

It was in the middle of my uncertainty that I learned about another clarity, one that I had to understand when nothing made sense to me anymore. It's the proverbial question of the self: Who is my ultimate judge?

For every person who ever evaded death or embraced it in full abandon, the state of one's being in the afterlife is an enigma and yet the transition goes on. Everyone dies. And with one's passing, so comes one's worth in mind. An obituary might read that a person left an empire to be divided among a number of family members. Or worse, he left nothing for no one.

The world possibly can’t be the judge of my worth as much as I can’t tell my reflection in a mirror to contradict my actions. The standard I should adhere to can’t possibly be that of the world otherwise I’d end up lacking like everyone else.

The One Who Can't Be Measured

I can only be measured by someone who can't be measured himself. I can only be weighed by someone whose own identity is unknown. No mentor, living or dead, best fits the criteria. Not even builders come close. Only a Creator suits the identity of the ultimate judge as he is not subject to judgment himself.

In the middle of being distraught, I had to acknowledge a Creator. Someone had to have created me. He must know me inside and out enough to reach out to me and make himself known. It's rather silly if an all-knowing being created me and forgot about me. Perhaps this is why like most men in their pursuit of the meaning of life, I have always searched for symbols and clues to confirm a bond with such a being.

In pursuit of clues and symbols? (Photography by Josua Chan)
A Record of Confirmations

In today's age of information, one archive has withstood the elements for everyone to know. Called the bible, it's a record of a Creator's confirmations.

It's where I happened to have read a record of one foolish king named Belshazzar who reigned wickedly to the point that he feared no judgment. Only when an apparition of a hand writing a coded message on a wall appeared one night while he was engaged in worldly revelry did he get stumped and began to question his mortality. He did so to the point of summoning a prophet by the name of Daniel who interpreted the enigma to him. Oddly enough, the king even forced on the prophet a golden chain and the merit of being the third highest ruler in his kingdom just to ascertain an answer to the mystery. Daniel rejected the rewards but interpreted the message nevertheless. The writing on the wall turned out to be God's judgment on the king which eventually came to pass that same night. (Daniel 5)

What's In Store For Me

Still in the bible, particularly in the Gospel according to John, this passage also got my attention: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

My Creator, despite knowing my limitations, turned out to have not forgotten me. Instead of judging me on the basis of my mortality, he made a way to seal his bond of everlasting life with me by making me whole in Jesus Christ. In other words, a spiritual relationship. Although undeserving, I was shown what's in store for me.

The world and all its trappings, as a result, are now meaningless to me and it’s perfectly alright. I need not be known for as long as I know what really matters -- that nothing in the eyes of my fellowmen is everything in heaven’s eyes.

The God of the Universe, my Creator, is the only one who can send the writing on the wall that pertains to me as it is with every single person. Through His Son, I will never be weighed in the balances and be found wanting again. That, to me, is everything I need to know about my worth.

The Testimony Series is a personal chronicle of this travel blog's author. It's the foundation on which all his travel features are woven and presented. Apart from God, he is nothing. He can do anything in God who gives him strength.


  1. I could relate when you said that the more you gain, the less content you become.

    There is a certain longing that you can't seem to satisfy by turning into the world. Man's search for meaning always goes back to finding his own identity - the identity that can only be conferred by the One who created him.

    The Lord's wisdom is the unsought answers to life's uncertainties - that is what I am embracing.

    1. Indeed, His wisdom is the one thing that will count in such times of confusion. Thanks for affirming that sentiment that I've been having about "the world" lately.


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