This weekend, I was watching Fight Club as a means of relaxing in between performances (news flash for some: yes, I was in a play) but had no intent of actually paying attention to the movie. I realize that’s a strange movie to just have playing in the background, but I’ve seen it enough to where I thought I could do that. I was very wrong.
There is one point in the movie where Bob (full name in the movie Robert Paulson), someone Edward Norton’s character (who has no real name) meets early on dies committing an act of corporate terrorism with the group that the Narrator (Edward Norton) and Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) begin with a simple group called “Fight Club”. The other men on the mission bring him into the kitchen and dump him on the table where they then are going to “dispose of the evidence”. This is when Norton vehemently rejects this leading to one of the most poignant scenes in the movie.
“His name is Robert Paulson.”
Another member replies, “In death, a member of project mayhem has a name, his name is Robert Paulson.” In death, all we have is the memory of who we were. We have our name which is defined by what we devoted ourselves to and spent our time on in this life.
“And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.'” – Matthew 4:19
In this verse, Jesus has just walked up to Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, two fishermen, and just tells them to follow Him. The depth of this call have never made full sense until thinking about Robert Paulson. Jesus is saying, “I will give you a name. If you leave everything here, I will give you the life of which you could only dream. I will give you things in which to invest that will last forever. Only if you forsake everything you once knew, I will show you how to be adopted into God’s royal family.”
Jesus never needed to say all that. All He said was, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds hugely cryptic and bordering on gimmicky. OK, it’s pretty clever too, but I wouldn’t trust Him. “Who are you to tell me to just follow you?” would be my reaction. But, these men on some level got it. They understood the connotation of all of that, at least to some degree.
Jesus still says that today. In the wind, in the sunshine, in church, in the Bible, He is still whispering those words. But, I’m sure you, like myself, have a better way of making a name for yourself in this life. I’ve got my own 5-year plan that I’m working on right now. Sure, there have been setbacks, but I’ll make something of myself and I’ll do it on my own.
“Where you invest your love, you invest your life.” – Mumford and Sons
In what higher or greater thing can I invest my love than the Maker and Creator of all? To what glory can I sacrifice my life’s purpose that is greater than God’s? I have not found a thing. Yes, I’ve looked and I still look at times. At this point, I don’t really expect to find anything.
My soul know it; God’s purpose is my greatest purpose. If it is not, then He must not be who I think Him to be and I must find the ultimate being in the universe. This could be true, sure, but my soul feels pretty sure on this one.
I want my memory, my name when my soul departs, to be in God and His holy name. What about you? What do you want for your memory?