What is the Meaning of Life?
A key question that just came to me via my daughter. A gift that she gave called StoryBook (not a sponsor)...very creative. Here is my answer...
Wow, we go from light, fun question to super DEEP. Too bad I don’t like super deep questions ;). What is the meaning of life? Ultimately, that you/we fulfill God’s calling for our lives. Now, if you are an atheist or even a doubter, you will scoff at that answer. Yet, I’ll challenge them back. If you don’t believe in God then everything is meaningless. You are betting on hopelessness. Hopelessness is what is fueling all these mass shootings, divorces, addictions, overdoses, injustices, etc. If we don’t have a God then we make ourselves a God and that is what one calls a narcissist.
If you do believe in God and if you call yourself a Christian, you are told to be ready with an answer (1 Peter 3:15). Do your homework. If you are unsure of the Bible, have you read it? All of it? How can one truly critique something if one has never read or listened or watched it?
Now, before it sounds like I’m getting too far up on a pedestal. I have made a lot of mistakes. Truth, my worst decisions are when I put myself in the center. Please know that. My debt and still paying taxes are due to me not being a good steward. For not listening to what the Bible says. “The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender” Proverbs 22:7. I’m paying the price and so does my family in a way for me being self centered and wanting more, then. The dumbest and most hurtful things I have said were when I was self centered. The tongue reflects the heart. Matt 15:18. Your Mom once rated me thee ‘Worst Boyfriend in the World’.
Back to Hope, as I’ve wrestled with my stubbornness, selfishness, ignorance, I also decided to study the Bible more. Mom dragged me back to church and to my first small group. I guess I’m a slow learner. As much as I have laments, there is serious Hope in Jesus and those that follow him. Rom 8:1, says there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. That is an amazing promise. Rom 8:28…says that God will use all things (bad or good) for good for those that seek him. In other words, all your mistakes and stupid things. God can use them. If you seek him, he’ll make lemonade our of your lemons. Bigger picture, God designed you and me with unique strengths and gifts. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139: 13-18. He also designed us with certain weaknesses with purpose. Part of the test is leaning on others that have strengths to help counter your weaknesses. That builds community and opens up opportunities to serve one another. Think about if you’re bad with money and budgets, you best marry an accountant type or hire one. Side note, study marriages, for most, opposites attract.
For the scientific peeps reading this chapter by chance, ‘Language of God’ by Dr. Francis Collins was a major game changer for me. Dr. Collins is a former atheist that helped define the human genome…aka the DNA that defines your body. It’s a code. An intricate, beautiful code of billions of characters. The code was a tipping point for Dr. Collins. Altruism was the capper. If everything is meaningless, why do many of us want to do good for others…especially for ones we don’t know? Why are we wired for love and for loving others? Especially when ‘survival of the fittest’ should rule with evolution. Altruism…. al·tru·ism/ˈaltro͞oˌizəm/ Learn to pronounce noun: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.”some may choose to work with vulnerable elderly people out of altruism”. Similar: unselfishness, selflessness, self-sacrifices, elf-denial, consideration
Jesus is all about selflessness and altruism. A “religious expert” once attempted to trap Jesus in asking what are the greatest of the commandments. Matthew 22:36-40New International Version... 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
What is the meaning life? Everything that you are trying to do right hangs on those two above…everything. Loving God (your creator and designer) with all your heart, soul and mind first. Next, love and serve others…including the ones you don’t like. So hard! So counterintuitive as to the ways of the world. Yet, your heart will be fullest when you love God and then serve others…especially with your strengths.
Most important, probably should have started with this…understand eternal life. Understand that promised and you choose. If above makes sense, there is even better news. God just didn’t create you for the ‘here and now’ to serve on this broken planet. This life is a blip. It is a test to see if you figure out above. It is a test to see if you want eternal life and will serve there as well. John 3:16New International Version 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Whether you are an atheist or not, I bet we can all agree that this broken plant is f’d up. I understand and empathize with the doubters on eternal life. Yet, will you be open again to science and math? Towards the end of 2021, FriDudes podcast did a a two-part series on “What Happens When You Die?” Did you know Gallup (the authenticated polling company) has over 13 million documented cases of people that flat lined and went out of body and witnessed conversations down the hall or a certain shoe up on the roof then came back to talk about it? Crazy, wild stuff that one could see in a movie. For you to further study and decide. Side note, if you think there are multiple paths to heaven (eternal life), there is a verse that haunts me on that thought. John 14:6: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Either Jesus is absolutely right or a lunatic. Study his words and you’ll understand why I and a few billion more choose His path. What is the meaning of life? To choose eternal life via Jesus. To really tune into your creator and keep asking ‘Why am I here? What do you want me to do today? Programs like GtSurf.org can help you map that. Strive to live this life with a full heart. Your heart will be more full and overflowing the more you get Jesus and his teachings involved (Matt 7: 24-27).