Life With Meaning

Life With Meaning
This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot’  Ecclesiastes 5:18.  

Recently I’ve been reading ‘Ecclesiastes’ a book in the Bible.  Ecclesiastes gives us a chance to see the world through the eyes of a teacher who, though very wise, is trying to find meaning in temporary, human things. Every form of pleasure in this world is explored by the teacher, and none of it gives him a sense of meaning. In the end, the teacher comes to accept that faith in God is the only way to find personal meaning and decides to accept that life is brief and ultimately worthless without God. The teacher also explores how there is a time for everything and the various seasons which a person may go through in life.

I often hear the phrase ‘Life is too short’ which can be interpreted in a few ways. Some people may interpret this phrase to go out and hit the shops with a plastic card, spend a reckless night out getting drunk, sleeping with random strangers, and basically living what some would see as ‘life to the full’ in case tomorrow never comes!  Sometimes the choices we make can turn out for good. On the other hand, the consequences of an impulsive decision can be fatal.

The question is, what brings true satisfaction?  Do these short term ‘highs’ really sustain a person?

Another way the phrase ‘Life is too short’ gets interpreted is that everyday should be spent being very careful not to step out of line, always be on time, pray certain times in the day in a certain way, never admit to doing anything wrong, keep all traditions and be sure to live like good moral people, because when God shows up we had better be on our best behavior if we want to go to heaven!  Is this the way to live?  Under fear of being snuffed out because you had fun instead of practicing religious rituals?  Being proud one day because we did a good job and the next day worrying in fear because we have slipped up!

I believe that real meaning in this life can only be found in God. He created us with the intention that we would have a purpose in knowing Him and to share in a relationship with God, our father. I believe that true meaning in life comes through Jesus Christ, who gave up his earthly life, that we might be in right relationship with God, not just to get us into heaven when we die, but that we have real life now, here on earth.  He brings life in abundance and a heart that is able to weather the seasons, whether it be a time of poverty or wealth, a season of being single or married, a time of grieving a death or celebrating a new birth.  I don’t know about you, but in this life I have often found myself waiting for the weekend, waiting for warmer weather, or for the next special event.  When we over think or worry about tomorrow, we can so easily miss out on all that today has in store.

Planning is wise but worry steals away the joy of living today, and fear of tomorrow can prevent you not only from making good decisions but any decisions at all, as you stand frozen and clouded, as oppose to clear minded and free.
We read in the Bible…’Do not worry about anything. Instead, tell God about everything. Ask and pray. Give thanks to him’ Philippians 4:6.  

We also read in Romans 12 verse 2 ‘Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will’.  

Dear reader, my prayer is that you will know the satisfaction and love that comes from God through Jesus, and that in His grace you will be able to walk through each day with peace in your heart.  I also pray that you will become so in love with Jesus that you would want to live the kind of life that pleases Him and is also healthy for your body, mind and spirit.  Bless you!

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