Speaker: Rhordan Wicks
In this 6-part series, we are going to uncover answers to the most googled questions about Christianity, starting with the first question, “Does life have any purpose?”
Many are searching for the meaning of life. A French author, Alexis de Tocqueville made an observation over a hundred years ago which is even more apparent today: “There is something surprising in this strange unrest of so many happy men, restless in the midst of abundance… Besides the good things that he possesses, he every instant fancies a thousand others that death will prevent him from trying if he does not try them soon. This thought fills him with anxiety, fear and regret and keeps his mind in ceaseless trepidation.” Alexis de Tocqueville and millions of people today recognize the same agonising question: Is there any meaning or purpose in life that death does not erase?
Similarly, Shakespeare’s Macbeth has a great monologue at the end, which includes a particular line, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more”. This translates in modern terms, life is pretty meaningless.
What spoils life, according to Ecclesiastes, is the attempt to get more out of life—out of work, pleasure, money, food, or knowledge—than life itself can provide. This is not fulfilling and leads to weariness, which is why the book begins and ends with the exclamation “All is vanity.” This phrase is repeated throughout the entire book. No matter how wise or rich or successful one may be, life is meaningless apart from Jesus.
WHAT WILL YOU DO
The book of Ecclesiastes offers this perspective: life apart from God is utterly devoid of meaning, but life with God is brimming over with purpose. God being our creator, has created us for a specific purpose. If we reject that, our efforts to create our own purpose and meaning will come to nothing.
Author C.S. Lewis put it this way, “All that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy… The reason why it can never succeed is this. God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.” ~ C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2001, 49–50.
To conclude, think about these two questions, “Are you personally aware of the reason for your existence?” If so, “Are you fulfilling the purpose of your life, which is to know Jesus and to make Him known?”
Reflect on these questions and determine to bring glory to God through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives and dwells in you.
Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 2:11 ESV
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” – Mark 8:35-36 ESV