“To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to?…” (Act 3, Scene 1, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet).
The age-old philosophical question, “To be or not to be.” Since Shakespeare first penned this question, humanity has been pondering its meaning. Some will tend to interpret this speech as Hamlet contemplating suicide vs. dying in battle. Others tend to look at it from the perspective of endurance vs. action. Regardless, most will attach their own meaning to this question as they contemplate their own life and it’s meaning. Especially for those that feel they’re caught in monotony. Do I continue on in the mundane tasks I’ve been doing all my life, or do I take action and step in to the unknown and create a new adventure? According to one source on Hamlet’s speech, he writes, “‘Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer..Or to take arms’ seems clearly to ask whether it is better to be stoically passive to life’s troubles or heroically active against them.” There will come a time when everyone will ask themselves this question. Are you called to something greater? Do you feel you’ve been created for a higher purpose? I recently read a portion of Scripture that made me think through this dilemma:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1-2, NKJV)
The answer to Hamlet’s question is pretty simple when you think about it (that is, if Hamlet were a Christian). The portion of Scripture clearly states how we are to approach life. First of all, as a sacrifice. Hamlet, whether speaking of suicide or dying in battle was talking about sacrifice. In Christ, we are to give up the desires of this world for the Kingdom of God. We are called to be holy. Leviticus 20:26 states, “And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.” Our service to the Lord needs to be completely based upon His Word and will for your life. You may have to step out, or even away from your old, mundane routine to experience the freedom of living a life dedicated to Christ. My goal is to completely embrace what the Lord has for me. I don’t need to question my existence. He created me for greatness. My response is not to question or “philosophize”. My response is to put one foot in front of the other and act.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:1-2, The Message)