Finding Meaning

What is the meaning of life?  What is the meaning, more importantly, of your life?  What’s it all about?  Why does it matter?

The infamous Sigmund Freud is known for declaring that man is simply a being who is driven by his desires and nothing more.  Victor Frankl, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, on the other hand, argued in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, that men are most tempted to distract himself with pleasure when his life is void of meaning.

These are very profound ideas that can lead us to wonder:  Can we find meaning and purpose that truly satisfies our souls?

I believe we can and there is an invitation that awaits us all.  But we first must understand what hasn’t worked so far.

Man’s Search For Meaning

We are a lost people.  Searching for meaning and always coming up short.  As Frankl has said, we are distracted and obsessed with seeking pleasure at all costs because when we are empty and devoid of true meaning in our lives.

Consider our obsession with…

  • Sports
  • Movies
  • Video games
  • Social Media
  • Sex
  • Money
  • Work

Why are we so prone to do ANYTHING that we think may give us a sense of pleasure – even to our own peril?

Think about how often we stare at our smartphones, for example.   We can hardly go five minutes without checking our Twitter or Facebook because we are so obsessed with the idea of staying connected to a bigger story or because we are trying to find meaning in the stories we see and read.

The reason we do this is very clear:

       We do it because our lives are void of meaning.

We are born into a world where we are missing something substantial and we are hoping that we can get a small “fix” of it by finding pleasure and short-term happiness.  But the problem is like Mick Jagger  said, we can’t get no satisfaction!  At least not in the ways that we’re searching for it.

We look for deeper meaning in sports.

In relationships.

In money.

In busyness.

In our kids.

In our hobbies.

In lots of other good things too.

But we never seem to find it.

It’s similar to when your body feels the need for sweets or sugary foods.  We translate this desire as a need for chocolate or something sweet.  Yet, in reality, what our bodies are really saying is that we are deficient in a vital nutrient that can truly satisfy our craving.  But since we don’t know how to read the cravings correctly, we simply give it the quickest fix we can find and move on with our day.  All the while, our bodies are still needing the one thing that can satisfy what’s missing.

Here’s the point:  the only thing that can help us is to find something (or Someone) that is full of meaning. Something or Someone who can fill us with what we’re missing.

As Christians, we understand that we (all people) were created for a life of meaning and great purpose.  But we have traded what’s meaningful with everything listed above. We try over and over again to meet our need for meaning with the quick fix of what’s expedient and fail to surrender our lives to One who can give us what we need.

Man’s search for meaning, even though we don’t always recognize it, is really man’s search for God.  We just don’t know it or we refuse to give Him a shot.

When we do this, we are, as the saying goes, always trying to put a round peg in a square hole.  Whatever we do just never seems to work.

So here’s what we should do:  Try Jesus.

In fact, when you read the Bible you’ll see that Jesus doesn’t ask you to simply believe in Him right up front.  Instead, He offers you this in John 1:39:

Come and see! - Jesus Click To Tweet

That’s the invitation for you and me to see if the meaning that we’re looking for can really be found in Him.  He doesn’t ask for your blind allegiance.  He simply invites us to see for ourselves.

Think about it this way:  What have you got to lose?

You’ve already tried everything (and more) listed above.  You have already tried to fill your loneliness with the newest relationship.  You’ve already given pornography a shot and still feel empty.  You already know from experience that your favorite sports team or bar or best friend can’t fill that search for meaning that you’re longing for.

So why not give Jesus a shot?

Why not take Him up on His offer?

You’ve heard about Him.  But how much time have you spent with Him?  How much time have you spent reading about Him for yourself?  How many times have you asked Him questions or prayed to Him for yourself?

I get why you may not want to.  Christians can be so fake!  It’s true.  I am one of the guilty ones.  But my guess is that, if you’re honest, you are too.  No one is perfectly committed to the things they say they believe in.  So don’t let our misrepresentations of who Jesus is keep you from getting to know Him for yourself.

His invitation is simple:  Come and see!

See if He is the meaning that you’ve always searched for but haven’t been able to find anywhere else.  If you’re tired of chasing everything thing else, give Jesus a shot.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

By | 2017-11-22T13:59:10+00:00 December 18th, 2017|Faith Life|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jon December 18, 2017 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Good thoughts today Nate! I need to remind myself every day that this is a life long process. We need to regroup and try again every day. Good thing God is patient! And I know He is.

    • Nate Whitson December 18, 2017 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      Isn’t that the truth! I’m so thankful for His patience as well! He’s always willing to meet us where we’re at and show us more of Him. I love that!

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