Cnr of Park Rd and MacMahon St, Hurstville Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

Tearing down monuments

I remember the day on the way home from school in Year 9, pushing my bike up a hill, and having an existential crisis. A dark thought gripped me: “Why don’t I become a mass-murderer…. at least I’ll get my name in the history books.” Whew! Glad that thought stayed restrained and unrealized!

Erostratus, a 4th century BC Greek, once felt the same way, only he brought his daydream to life. He was the lad who burned down the great Temple of Artemis, because he was obsessed with the idea of achieving immortality by being recorded in history.

Absalom, one of King David’s sons, also surrendered to feelings of insecurity and insignificance. In the Book it says that he erected a monument to himself in the King’s Valley in Jerusalem, in order to be remembered, since ‘I have no son to carry on the memory of my name’. The hunger for significance it seems, runs strongly through the human soul.

I am thankful (and no doubt are others!) that my adolescent daydream did not sprout and come to life. Even more, I am thankful that that dark thought was cremated and its ashes thrown to the winds. For in Christ there is rest from the constant gnawing to be remembered. And in His gospel, there is power to be content; even a power to sincerely repeat the words that were once said by one of His servants: ‘He must increase, and I must decrease’.

DM 5th January 2021


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