This morning as I read through the e-edition of my local paper , I came across a headline that so stunned me, I had to read the article connected to it. The headline simply stated “LISTEN TO ASHTON KUTCHER“. Knowing that my first exposure to Kutcher’s career came through his role on That 70s Show and also knowing of the sort of typical moral liberalism that Kutcher has associated with his name, I could not believe what I was reading.
Reading onward, I discovered that the article written by Cal Thomas expressed similar amazement at the comments made by the actor at the Teen Choice Awards. The comments Thomas highlights focus mainly on a moralistic call to hard work, thoughtfulness, and generosity. Even so my favorite of the comments Thomas highlights is the last one:
“Everything around us that we call life was made up by people that are no smarter than you. And you can build your own things. You can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life. Don’t live one, build one.”
Perhaps age contributes to why this comment resonates so well with me. As a husband, father, and pastor in my thirties, I desperately desire to build something that will last. I fight week by week from falling into the rut of just living. Some people, as Kutcher indicates go through life with a day by day mentality. They merely live from meal to meal, paycheck to paycheck, or year to year. Ecclesiastes offers a refrain over and over again that all of life is “vanity and a striving after the wind.” Many prove this statement with their eat, drink, and be merry lifestyle.
Kutcher gets it right when he alludes to the fact that some of the greatest achievements around us come not from the more fortunate or more intelligent. Rather the great achievements come from those dedicated enough to a mission or cause to accomplish the great things. Notice the distinction Kutcher makes at the end of his comment. Kutcher’s encourages people to build a life that others can “live in”. For many in their thirties, I think this desire to build something that will last becomes a driving vision for life. Those like Kutcher have the right motivation, however the scope of our vision is too limited if we set our sights on this life.
What would Kutcher say if he got cancer? Would he still adamantly espouse this position if he were to slowly lose the ability to build a life due to Alzheimer’s? Even with his great work ethic, what if Kutcher could no longer get a job as an actor and no one wanted to “live in” what he has built? Without the belief that something has been built on a more eternal foundation than this life, any of us when suffering attacks would lose Kutcher’s confidence and hope. Even so, 2 Cor. 4:16-18 reminds those who believe in Christ Jesus that our investment in him makes the suffering in this life a light and preparatory affliction so that we can truly appreciate the greatness of that which is not yet seen.
Thanks should go to Kutcher for trying to awaken a generation to the right kind of long-view desires. Even so, let’s do all that we can to help those to whom he spoke understand that they need to build their life on something, no someone far more eternal, Jesus Christ!