The philosophy of Nihilism is quite a pessimistic way to view life, but one that seems to be permeating our current culture. And, it seems, with good reason. Defined by Merriam-Webster as "a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless," the resurgence of Nihilism fits with the experience of technology changing our world. I don't think that evil and injustices have spiked over the last 20 years, for history itself is extremely violent and awful. But with the surge of technology and the sudden influx of information, the evils of the world are more readily accessible. And our human brains were not ready for the constant barrage of bad news.
Taken to its extreme, negative thoughts can quickly discourage people and easily lead to a sense of helplessness and a view of existence as senseless and useless. However, this feeling of senselessness is not in any way restricted to non-Christians. Though Christians do have an eternal hope through Jesus Christ, the things that we do in everyday life often feel like they are meaningless in the whole scheme of things and can cause us to wonder if doing things beyond those needed for survival are worth it. And in the view of eternity, they probably are not.
Will putting fun spices in your food or lighting pretty candles make a difference in eternity? Not that I know of, but they can make that day just a little more special.
And honestly, we are not by any means the first generation that has struggled with the seeming meaninglessness of life. King Solomon, the wisest man of all time, wrote in Ecclesiastes after he had built great palaces for himself and amassed all kinds of wealth that it was all vanity and striving after the wind. But the author seems to find comfort in the temporariness of life. He writes that there is a time for everything in life and that God is in control, even when it doesn't feel like it.
While Ecclesiastes in and of itself is not very comforting, the fact that many of the things we do are seemingly meaningless actually gives us freedom. Who cares what you do with the small things? Add whipped cream to your coffee. Burn a pretty candle. Make elevated toast. Wear fluffy socks. Add that special spice to your favorite food. As a Christian, I am still responsible to bring glory to God through my life, but there is freedom in that. Freedom to do things that don't need to matter in the whole scheme of things. Freedom to enjoy the things that God has given us to enjoy. Even if these things are not absolutely necessary for survival, things that provide joy and appreciation for what God created still have value in our lives.