It will never be enoughand that's okay
It will never be enough
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 138)
Is it ever enough, this life we find both invigorating and draining, both satisfying and dissatisfying?
I wonder if we all strive—if our quest to be more and have more—is somehow an attempt at immortality. To somehow make our impact last forever. To keep on living, even after we’re gone. As if this world were the end of everything and the center of everything and that being immortal could happen here.
We all have an insatiable thirst to be known, to be admired, to be respected, to leave a mark. We call it legacy and impact, a calling or a purpose. Don’t get me wrong, those things are important. They take a valiant crack at immortality, at living life to the fullest.
But I wonder if legacy doesn’t contain a smidgen of pride and insecurity. Without fame, without wealth, and without accolades, is it ever enough? Sure, you say. I’m just a normal person. I don’t need all that. Okay, then, in normal terms–without enough friends, money, or appreciation, is it enough?
We fret and plan to make sure that what we do matters, because we want to make sure that we matter.
We activate the machine of maddening enterprise, of senseless, endless motion, of ceaseless productivity, in an ever-morphing, ever-self-improving world of technology and media recognition. The networking, the obsession with stardom, the constant spinning wheel of self-promotion and self-assertion.
The desire to leave a mark leaves a mark on us. A deep, wounding mark of doubt that we’ll never do enough, never be good enough, we’ll never have enough, we’ll never know enough or be loved enough. Our fear proves us mortal and proves our need for immortality–not in this life, where it can’t be attained–but in the next.
*Check out “Never Enough,” an incredible piece sung by Loren Allred (the singing voice for Rebecca Ferguson) in The Greatest Showman. The irony of Rebecca’s character Jenny Lind and her pursuit of P. T. Barnum is that both celebrities have achieved greatness, but they are not satisfied with their stardom. They want to achieve an earthly immortality.