A random question. Say you could experience a week of the most happiness and exuberant joy you had ever felt before and could not experience again. Meaning, you would reach a height of positive emotion that is way beyond what you could or would ever attain without this experience. It’s a once in a lifetime chance.

Now imagine the maximum amount you’d be willing to pay for such an experience. Who knows what it is, just say you fully understood what the experience entailed and came up with a figure of how much you’d be willing to spend for it.

Now say the experience only cost you half as much as this max you’d be willing to pay. But the catch is this – as soon as the experience is over, neither you nor anyone else would remember anything about the experience. There’s be no indirect effect of it either, negative or positive. It would be as if it had never happened, except you’d be poorer for it. You’d have no recollection of the experience itself.

So my question is, would you pay for the experience?

I remember having a conversation like this a long time ago, and to me it was obvious. No way I would pay for it, if I couldn’t remember it. What would be the point? It would be as if it never happened, so it might as well never happen.

What surprised me was that a lot of the people there said they would pay for the experience. I dunno, that just shocked me. I guess it reveals something about me, maybe not. Just that for me experience only has value in so much as it can be remembered. Not that the strength of the memory or how long it lasts measures the value of the experience. Just that to have value, an experience has to be remembered.

But I dunno, is that true? Maybe they’re right, that there is value in the moment itself independent of whether it’s remembered or not. Memento played on this a lot at the end. As he struggles with whether his life, anything he does, has any meaning if he can’t remember anything. I dunno, really interesting.

So I’m starting to believe that things do have meaning in themselves, outside of whether you can remember them or not. Or more broadly, things can be meaningful even if it isn’t a means to something else. I guess I’m talking about spiritual things now. But yeah, one of the things I struggle with is being very ends focused. So I do things or want things to happen so that it will lead to something else. I want good worship so that everyone will worship more truly. I want people to worship more truly so that they’ll trust God more in their lives. I pray so that I’ll get answer to prayer. I read the Bible so that I might become more mature.

I dunno, I don’t think any of those motives are bad, it’s just, I think I’ve been missing the point on some things which is why they’re so hard to do. So what I’ve been starting to believe is that those things are just good in and of themselves, and while it would be great if it led to other things, that isn’t necessary to give those things value.

So like, if there’s a praise night and say someone comes and truly worships, but then just a week later goes back from that spiritual high to the same old sins. My claim is that the high isn’t useless or meaningless, even if it led to no long term change. That time he worshiped, even if it was just a night, was valuable in and of itself. Yeah, you can question how genuine that experience could have been if they went to the same sins, but I dunno, it happens to me and I think it happens in Scripture. My claim.

So my goal right now, and I guess it’s kind of related to stuff that’s been brought up in Bible study, but it’s to value certain spiritual things for themselves, not as means to another end. Of course I hope it leads to other things. I just don’t want that to be the reason I do things. Because I think in some sense I’ve been missing the point.

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