On Tuesday, February 15th, Garrison Keillor spoke here at CSP. Keillor spoke about futility. He stated that everything in life is futile. He used examples from his life, like seeing a woman read his book, which was supposed to be funny, without laughing or smiling at all. He used other examples like parents trying to control their children as well. There was a HUGE audience, and the audience laughed frequently throughout the speech. Having no idea who Garrison Keillor was before this event, I found it to be a more enjoyable experience than I expected. Keillor was an engaging speaker and told jokes and funny stories to emphasize his points.
I sincerely hope that Garrison Keillor was half joking about everything being futile. Anything we do to please ourselves are futile, but things we do for others or God are extraordinarily meaningful. If he has never experienced this, then my heart breaks for him. God uses us to do things that make a difference, and if God speaks through us He assures us it will accomplish a purpose: "so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11). I could go to greater lengths than anyone has ever gone before to be "successful", but no matter how much I gather for myself, the bad things I've done will not disappear and I will die with nothing but my sin. God has heard my despair, though, and has replaced my sin with His holiness. Through sin everything is futile, but, with the holiness of God, everything is meaningful. Now that I am free from futility I don't have to worry about making myself great. By simply allowing the Holy Spirit to work through me, I can, and will, change the world.
When I hear the word futility, I think of the book Futility or The Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson. It's a story that was written before the Titanic was even built that is eerily similar to the events of the Titanic. The Titan was the biggest, best, and safest boat ever built, but none of that mattered anymore once it crashed without enough lifeboats. Reputation doesn't matter, life does. Check out the book some time (it's really good), but remember that, through Christ, we are free from futility.