Thoughts on What Makes Life Worth Living from BBC’s Poldark

“Life holds very few things which are genuinely worth having. And if you possess them…then nothing else matters. And if you don’t possess them…then everything else is worthless.”
~ Ross Poldark ~
BBC Poldark

Ross & Demelza Poldark :: my 2nd favourite fictional couple πŸ–€

Sometimes Ross had wise words to say in spite of himself; though it’s telling that these words are words he thought Demelza (his wife) would have said in the given situation. Which just goes to show that we rub off on each other, lovely humans, whether we truly realize it or not.

We start thinking, acting, & even speaking like those we spend much time with in this life. Hence Scripture’s caution to watch the company we keep. We want good things rubbing off; not evil ones.

But, as usual, I digress haha

Here’s the full quotation I put at the top of the post:

“Believe me, I do not lightly meddle in other people’s affairs. That’s been Demelza’s way and I’ve often chided her for it. But lately, I’ve come around to her way of thinking.

She would say that if two people love each other, the obstacles which keep them apart must be substantial, else they lack the courage of the convictions.

I think she would also say that life holds very few things which are genuinely worth having. And if you possess them…then nothing else matters. And if you don’t possess them…then everything else is worthless.”

This quotation is one of the main reasons I love the BBC show Poldark. (massive disclaimer coming at the end haha) There’s an immense amount of character growth; even in the midst of some disappointing character regression. The very fact that Ross even utters those words in Season 3 is a testament to the growth of his character.

In Season 1, Ross stood adamantly against the marriage of his cousin & a man he thought beneath her but in Season 3, he fought for a marriage between his friend and a woman most thought above him. All because of his wife, Demelza, & her kind influence upon him throughout the years.

But once again, I digress…’cause this post isn’t actually about character growth in Poldark πŸ™ˆ

It’s about that quotation at the top; about the fact that the preciousness of Life hinges on our reason & purpose for living. & Life is a gift from our Creator which makes it inherently precious. But there are things that make life worth living & without those things, life is miserable & hopeless.

Without Christ, this life is madness.
Without Christ, there’s no Hope.

We can live for the next high, the next pleasure, the next delightful activity, the next success, but what’s that worth on the other side of the grave?

What’s the saying? He who dies with the most toys wins? Well, he who dies with the most toys still dies. & if you believe in annihilation after death, that’s a pretty poor way to spend your waking years on this earth: amassing toys you can’t even take with you.

& if you believe in some sort of heaven where only the good people go, that’s still a pretty poor way to spend your waking years on this earth ’cause, once again, you can’t take your millions with you to the other side.

You can’t take your good looks ’cause they’ll rot anyway;
you can’t take your money ’cause that’ll corrode;
you can’t take your big house,
your expensive cars,
all the letters after your name,
your kids,
your earthly accolades that mean so much to you now.

Perhaps we think “well, we might as well live it up now ’cause we’ve only got a few short years before the lights go out”. Lovely humans, the Most High speaks right to that eat-drink-for-tomorrow-we-die mentality in the book of Ecclesiastes.

King Solomon wrestled with the same apparent futility of life; the grasping after things in this realm only to have it all slip through your fingers when you take your final breath. In his wrestling, he realized it didn’t matter if you merely had more toys than the next guy, ’cause you both were gonna die in the end (Ecclesiastes 2:13-16).

Death levels the playing field, lovely humans. But so does the cross of Christ.

& in the vanity of this mad, mad world, Christ & His Gospel are the only things able to keep us sane. They’re the only things where, if you possess them (or rather, if Christ possess you), all of Life makes sense & nothing else really matters.

Perhaps this year more than ever, many of us understand these words more deeply:
“Truly the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.”
~ Ecclesiastes 9:3b ~

Whoever says that humans are inherently good just isn’t paying close enough attention. We’re all monsters without Christ. Even those of us who aren’t running around murdering, cheating, thieving, lying, or sleeping with every human under the sun; even we carry the potential for such monstrous behaviour. The seeds are in all our hearts ’cause none of us are righteous on our own.

So let’s not kid ourselves, lovely humans: we’re all mad here.

But all praise to the King for giving us Hope in the madness!
For giving us something great to live & die for.

A Hope that our sins are forgiven, if we’re in Christ, & can be forgiven if we’re not in Him.
A Hope that this life isn’t actually all there is; that Heaven is real but only for those who believe in Christ as their Saviour, trusting in His merits alone & acknowledging Him as Lord.
A Hope that death isn’t the end; only a continuation of the Greatest Story ever told;
only a way our King uses to call His exiles Home.

These are the things really worth possessing in this Life, things without which, everything else is worthless.

So Ross Poldark was right, even though it’s not quite in the sense that he intended. Romantic love isn’t the only thing worth having; even that pales in comparison with Eternal Life.

May we remember that, lovely humans.
May we remember that when we’re busy chasing success & security & one another.
May we remember that it’s all gonna fade;
we won’t take anything past the grave but the Hope of Who we’ll see on the other side πŸ–€

*lil Poldark disclaimer as promised*
I don’t wholeheartedly endorse every single thing in the BBC series. I only watch (& re-watch) Seasons 1-3a & 5. Seasons 3b-4 get dark & un-edifying & personally disappointing. Although there are scenes & moments in the earlier seasons that should be skipped; they’re few & far between.
Additionally, I will say that Poldark doesn’t portray any of the infidelity & sexual sins in a positive light. Every action the characters make/don’t make has serious consequences & highlights a Biblical Truth: sin is evil, it ruins relationships & lives, & it ought not to be taken lightly or mocked.
But there’s Beauty & Hope & Courage & determination in Poldark as well but that’s a post for another time πŸ™‚

a beautiful depiction of how we ought to face our Life as Christians: head-on with determination & Hope in Christ, despite our sometimes bloodied & battered faces πŸ–€ :: Poldark Season 5

:: we’re in a War, my friends, & we all need Courage on the Front Lines πŸ–€ ::

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