You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.Psalm 16:11 (NLT)
What is the meaning of life? It’s a question that is pondered by millions, maybe billions, of people per year. The goal is to figure out how to make life not just enjoyable, but meaningful. How do we leave our mark on this world in the short time we have here? People pay tons of cash to self-help experts who state that they’ve figured it out, only to realize that what they’ve figured out is that other people’s money makes the self-help dude rich.
It’s hard to wrestle with this question. It’s even harder when posed to a group of teenagers. This was a question my class was asked to wrestle with when I was in a high school bible class. At the age of 16, we were supposed to have this already figured out? As expected, most answers had to do with making lots of money, having successful careers, marrying a supermodel, becoming famous, and a lot of other socially acceptable answers. None of us really had a good answer. We were just grasping at ideas that we thought would make us happy.
It wasn’t until I hit my 30s that I finally figured it out. The question needed to be re-phrased. It should go something like, “What gives life meaning?” This is the fundamental mind shift needed to fully explore what the original question was attempting to get at.
David (the dude from the Bible) figured out the answer to this, as he shares in our verse for today. It is a relationship with the King of the Universe. When we are right with Him, everything else falls into place. Guilt is erased. Forgiveness is given. Love is felt in unimaginable ways. We find joy in the good times and during the bad times.
When we have a real relationship with Jesus, everything becomes richer. Family becomes so much more than just blood. Going to a weekly worship service becomes so much more than an obligation. We experience peace, even in the storms of life. We learn to love others at a level we did not know before. We receive wisdom directly from God, rather than relying on our own, sinful thoughts. And so on, and so on. In short, He makes us into a better person than we could ever imagine.
So, what gives life meaning? Jesus Christ in our life.