Question: What drives your life? “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go,” says the message on a car bumper sticker. But is debt really the drive shaft of your existence? What are the ingredients of a life worth living? I’m not a philosopher, but when you live long enough and analyze the mistakes of people you form some opinions. You see some live into their 90s who are bright and cheerful, and you see others, a third their age, grow bitter and cynical and begin to wither and die. We don’t always bury them, but their brains are short-circuited. They are the living dead who exist but are living for nothing. Theirs is the despair which Solomon talked about when he said, “I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living who are still alive” (Ecclesiastes 4:2).
The ingredients of a life worth living: 1. Someone to love. 2. Something to do, and 3. Something to hope for. Loving someone helps meet one of your deep emotional needs. Something to do gives you a sense of purpose, a reason for existing, a cause which goes far beyond spending eight or ten hours a day at a job. It meets a basic need in our lives. And something to hope for gives you a connection with tomorrow which helps you over the rough spots of today.
“OK,” you may be thinking, “I agree with those three premises, but how do I get there from where I am?” A starting point is to back off from the turmoil of the routine. Sometimes we are so close to things that some space helps us begin to see things in perspective. Much of what consumes our time and energy will count for little, if anything, tomorrow. Life takes on the existence of a squirrel trapped in a cage who treads a wheel which consumes his energy but takes him nowhere.
Missing in the lives of so many is a third dimension, a God dimension which brings the desire to reach out in love, even loving those who are not very lovable, a reason for existing and a purpose for doing something well. Then a link to God brings the confident assurance that there is more to life than just the immediate. There is a tomorrow, and God becomes the hope of the future.
The ship drifts when there is no anchor. The traveler without a compass wanders aimlessly, and the pilot who can’t find the airport quickly finds himself in distress. That’s where the link with the Almighty makes a powerful difference.
God so loved the world that He gave His Son, and as that Son touches your life, you will discover a freedom to love which has been stifled or stunted by pain, by rejection, and by disappointment. There is one who loves you, who will never push you aside. His name is Jesus, and when you learn how great is His love for you and respond to it, you will begin to learn to love again.
Knowing that you are God’s child, not an accident or a mistake, but a person made in His image, gives you an identity. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him,” says Paul in Colossians 3:17.
David spoke of the hope of tomorrow as he confessed, “…I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Then he gave some advice we need today. “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait on the LORD” (Psalm 27:13-4).
Resource Reading: Psalm 27
Text: And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – July 27, 2017