Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Meaningful Life

I believe one of the biggest struggles we all may face is the desire to live a meaningful life and the reality of the life we live and how it measures up to what others consider meaningful.

What is it that makes our lives mean something?

I crave being a part of something - comradeship. God made us to desire this. We see it first of all in the desire to have a spouse, but what if God chooses not to give you a spouse? What if he chooses to take your spouse away? Where is the meaning of your life then?

Some people look to their children to give them meaning in life. Unfortunately, our children are not perfect. They take after us, so how could we expect it? It is easy to try to gain meaning through our children. It is easy to push our dreams on them hoping to gain some meaning through their lives. If we get meaning in life only from our children, then we will be disappointed when they fail us in some way or if God chooses to take them away or even perhaps to never give us children.

Jobs and possessions are a huge way that people look to gain meaning in life, and some people go through life believing that this is meaningful. They may be lonely, but they have money and a good job, and that is enough to them.

I have lived a unique life compared to many people. I spent a number of years in college. I've lived in a variety of places, and had a variety of jobs. Something that I find to be true is that I naturally seek for meaning in what I'm doing. I don't want to just do something. I want it to count for something.

My youngest child who has CHARGE syndrome turned 4 this past May. It's hard to believe it has been 4 years. I think the biggest thing that I have learned in those 4 years is what makes life meaningful. I struggle to accept it at times, but true meaning is only found in one thing.

A meaningful life is what Paul described in Philippians 1:21 so succinctly: "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Some might say, "how can this possibly be a meaningful life? It sounds more like a death wish." That is far from the truth. Paul knew the meaning of life. He knew that the only meaning in life on this Earth is found in Christ, and outside of this Earth in death he could actually be with Him which is the best thing. That is the meaningful life - living for Christ here for the Christ there, so that there is only gain in death because we pleased Him in life.

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