Recently I’ve been following some discussions between people questioning the theory of evolution, seeking some meaning in life. It’s interesting and hopeful and sad. One problem with refusing to believe in God and/or resisting the spiritual entirely, is that you eventually arrive at nihilism. You discover that life now has no purpose, no meaning, and no morality. There is no where else to go when you logically walk down that path. There is nothing at the end of it but the abyss.
It is extremely challenging to try to explain the meaning of life in that context, in an imaginary world where there is no God. In fact, I can’t do it. We are either meaningless bits of biological goo randomly springing forth for no reason with no purpose, or we aren’t. If we are, then we shouldn’t even be having this conversation, because it’s all totally irrelevant. We should all be out there pillaging and plundering and getting ours while we can. Which does appeal to a certain percentage of the population, but fortunately most of them are too lazy to try it.
Some people are so arrogant and prideful, they can cope with nihilism and manage to suppress the obvious contradiction and paradox there. They do this by endlessly praising themselves for being one of the elite few allegedly able to face reality as it really is. I am braver than all others, I can see the world as it really is and not deny the horrible reality of our meaningless existence. That is a very seductive deception. I’m special. Denial, you’re all in denial. Weak, delusional, y’all need a crutch and I don’t.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at these people. They strike me as kind of funny because they’re like the Mouse that Roared. Good grief, that’s not brave. That’s nothing. You have looked despair in the face and you’re still standing. Big deal. Now, go look at God and come back and tell me how big and bad you are.
A somewhat silly aspect of many humans is that we don’t fear the bad things so much, the despair, the meaninglessness. What we really fear is love, meaning, purpose. Accountability. The lengths we will go to avoid these things is just staggering. Mostly we do it with our heads and our intellect, not our hearts. Our hearts know better.
Accountability is a huge one. If our lives have no meaning or purpose, then we are not accountable for how we have spent them. If our lives do have purpose and meaning, then we have failed epically, failed our own selves, by not recognizing it sooner. If we have purpose and meaning then we have wasted so much time trying to deny it and failing to live up to it.
I can’t provide anyone with the “meaning of life.” I can tell you that I believe we were lovingly and deliberately made by a God that loves us more than we can even imagine. We were placed on a garden designed to meet all our needs, spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual, and invited to walk with Him in the cool of the evening. To know Him and love Him. He is our Creator and we are created in His image, sent forth to create too, in smaller ways.
The world is a bit broken and ugly, but we are to squeeze those lemons and toil away, and attempt to produce something pleasing, not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally too.
What people often need in order to feel fulfilled is a deep and personal relationship with God. You simply cannot be a whole person without a spiritual component to your life. We are not just meant to toil away but also to receive all the blessings that life has in store for us. To receive is a form of praise, to rejoice is to pay tribute to our Creator.
Sometimes we desire to have a family, children, to build a legacy to bestow upon them. Those are generally the kind of things that bring us satisfaction. To serve others can help us feel that purpose and meaning in our own lives. Learn all you can, love deeply, receive life and all it has to offer.
Mostly however, we are to make ourselves pleasing to Him, to offer up our lives as a sweet fragrance that pays tribute to the One who made us. At the end of our days, that’s the one thing that goes with us. That is what it means to store up our treasures in heaven.