All humans seem to innately seek the meaning of life. It is built into the core of our existence. It is one of the crucial things that make us human. My Basset Hound Beulah is quite intent just to get her ears rubbed on a regular basis and to make our daily trek out to the mailbox. (All of you who might have a Basset know that you must keep them on a leash constantly or they will get utterly lost tracking a scent that totally envelopes their attention; i.e. The ever present leash even to the mailbox . Too bad we humans aren’t put on a leash when we get too focused on something that is not good for us :). We humans just aren’t the way our pets are. We need to know why we exist!
Many, especially us Westerners, spend our lives seeking things of the world to give us meaning. Before I understood where the source of this fulfillment really comes from I spent an outrageously amount of time seeking the meaning of life. At one point I was totally immersed into the psychology thing. I read book after book of such titles as “I’m Ok – Your OK”. I became an Eric Berne freak. I couldn’t get enough of him or Maslow, or a number of other authors in the field of psychology. After a number of years I came to the same conclusion that the character played by Bob Newhart had in the TV series “Newhart”. “Psychology is a croak!” It just didn’t give me the sustainable answers I was looking for. I apologize to all you psychologists out there. I’m sure you do a mountain of good to those who really need it. But, I didn’t really need it!
But at least I didn’t take the path that many do and get into drugs or such things. I fortunately also didn’t have a mid-life crisis where I sold everything to get a motorcycle and a young chick on my arm. (My wife would have killed me if I had tried that!) I was way to shy for that sort of thing anyway, thank the Lord. And I also didn’t literally go up the mountain to seek the ultimate wisdom of some other guru.
God built this “why we exist” urge in us for a reason. But it took me years to discover it. Many today are in the same vicious cycle that I was. For some it is vocational success; for others it is money; for others it is something else. It is almost always about “stuff”
I will spend the next few posts talking about idols that we futilely try to put in place to seek the meaning of life.