God put this unrelenting urge to find the meaning of life into us for a reason. He wants us to constantly seek him of our own free will of course. He loves us so much that he had his son become a human to die for us. His love is an all encompassing love (agape) for us. When Jesus said “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” in John 10:10 he was directly addressing the issue of the meaning of life. Having life to the full means we know for certain why we exist and therefore we also know the mysterious “meaning of life”.
Getting into the fullness of Christ is indeed a very life fulfilling practice. It is also a lifelong pursuit. Just declaring Jesus as Lord and Savior is not what it is about. It is about living day-by-day and even moment-by-moment in the presence of God. If you want the true meaning of life this is it! It is not about things of this world so give up on that route; stuff is totally meaningless. As Jesus said:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matt 6:19-23
Let’s put our hearts in the correct focus, on Jesus. I know that is corny sounding but until you actually do it, or at least seriously try, you will never understand just how profound that statement is!
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.