But the rise of secularism saw men and women move away from the knowledge of God, challenging even the notion of His existence. In our minds, the One who witnessed our everyday lives, and in doing so lent meaning to the mundane, dissolved. And when there is no one to notice the details of our lives, we live them very differently.
With a knowledge of a divine audience, we live our lives in the light of eternity - without it, we live our lives merely in the light of today. Our omnipresent witness saw the things done in secret, he made them count. Without him, only what is seen counts for something.
So we go out of our way to be seen, to create our own audience. We take pictures of ourselves, orchestrated to create the impression of a glamorous, or a successful, or an artsy and down-to-earth person. We try to create an image of who we want to be perceived as, even if it's far-removed from our true selves, and in doing so we become our own spin doctors... and if we do it for long enough, we believe our own hype.
Why do we do it?
In the movie "Shall We Dance?" Susan Sarandon says "We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."
When she speaks these lines, she is answering the question of why we people get married. Well, there is a God in heaven whose presence permeates the earth and He is reaching out, preparing for a divine marriage with the Bride: our true identities in Christ, revealed in Him. There is no other way. We were created in His image.
This knowledge, the knowledge of our divine witness, is what anchors our lives. Without him, we're just ships at sea, tossed and moved with every passing fad and trend. With him as our witness our lives may move but they always revolve around a central point: God our witness. God, the anchor of our lives.
Grace Mathew is a Sydney-based writer and speaker who recently graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of International and Global Studies.