In 1986 I felt like I was the king of the world. I was the basketball coach of a small Christian school in Ottumwa, Iowa. We had less than 100 students, and every boy 7th – 12th grade was on my team – all 14. I challenged our boys to win the state championship. We were playing against schools 3 & 4 times our size. But in March 1986 we not only finished as state champs, we had an undefeated season. I was the coach of the state champs.
But I can still remember the next morning getting up and thinking, ‘I should be feeling better than this.” It felt so good when we won. But the feeling didn’t last. I needed another mountain to climb.
We all have had similar experiences of winning in life. Whether it’s a sporting event, having your first child, your marriage, the ultimate job, or some other momentous event. We are elated at the moment. But it soon fades.
Life is a series of mountaintop experiences. Moments in our life that awaken our spirit and we scream ‘This is what I live for.’ But those moments don’t last. So we look for another mountain to climb.
Take a moment and be honest, because we all feel it… A desire for more, a dissatisfaction in the accomplishments in our life.
So we search for this good feeling in many things. I’m always amazed at how creative we can be in filing the void. People try drugs, alcohol, relationships, vocation, sports, hobbies, even family. But they are never enough to truly satisfy. There’s always more.
Tom Brady, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, is wealthy, famous, athletic, and has a supermodel for a wife. Yet, in a 60 minutes interview said, “Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there’s something greater out there fore me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, ‘Hey man, this is what it is.’ I reached my goal, my dream, my life. I think, ‘God, it’s got to be more than this.’ When asked, ‘What’s the answer?’ Brady responded, “I wish I knew. I wish I knew.”
Augustine, the early Christian thinker, said, “The heart of man is restless…”
We ask, ‘What is my place in it all? What should I be living for? Why am I here? What is the meaning of life?”
Have you considered that if you cannot satisfy your meaning, you may have been looking in all the wrong places. Perhaps meaning is far greater than you can possibly imagine.
Nothing has meaning in and of itself. People give things meaning.
Artists, composers, authors endow their objects with meaning. When an author pens a song, he has a reason for that song to exist. Others may give that song meaning in their own life. However, the true meaning must come from the one who authored it.
Since it is part of our nature to give meaning to things we are tempted to give ourselves meaning. We may think, “The meaning of my life is to make myself happy.” Or “The meaning of my life is to make others happy.” We can come up with a multitude of meanings for our life. This only relieves us temporarily. Since we didn’t create the universe or ourselves, we can’t know the true meaning of our life.
True meaning comes from the author – God.
Not everyone believes God exists. But if God does exist, then there is meaning and purpose. If there is no Author of life, life has no meaning.
Where do we go to discover the meaning of life from the Author of Life? I suggest Jesus.
Nearly ever world view respects Jesus at some level. Buddhists claim He is enlightened. Muslims claim He is a prophet. Even atheists believe He is a great teacher. But the Bible claims more than that.
The Bible claims Jesus is the Author of Life (John 1:3) and the Source of Eternal Life (John 10:28)
Jesus made 2 claims about the meaning of life:
- You Belong to God (Mark 12:14-17). Jesus illustrated paying taxes by looking at a coin that had Caesar’s image on it. In His teaching He simply said, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God.” The implied teaching is that since the coin had Caesar’s image on it, it belonged to Him and should be given to Him. What He implied was that since we bear God’s image, we belong to Him and should give ourself to Him.
- Life is about Relationships (Mark 12:28-31). When asked the Jewish equivalent to the meaning of life (What is the greatest commandment?), Jesus replied, Love God and love your neighbor. It’s all about relationships. His claim was that there is only one God – and it’s not us. And God has created us for relationships. You were created to know and be known, to love an be loved.
I want to finish the quote I cited above from Augustine…
“The heart of man is restless … until it rests in God.” – Augustine
Only God is capable of satisfying the deepest longings of your heart.
Read more: God Questions.