The Meaning of Life...in One Short Blog



“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” ~Jesus


In Douglas Adam’s classic book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a computer named Deep Thought was built to find the answer to the meaning of life. Deep Thought was the size of a planet and after seven million or so algorithmic years, the answer was discovered: 42. There followed a collective, head-scratching “Huh?” Problem was, everyone had forgotten the question by then. But the original question was basically: why do we suck air? Or more pointedly, what gives our lives meaning? I believe that at the heart of life—the challenge, frustration and joy of it—is the search for something valuable, something of worth, worth more than your own life. Think about when you first fell seriously in love. You know, that “head-over-heels-crazy-can’t-think-straight-lovesick-talk-till-4am-in-the-morning-get-up-at-6:30am-for-work”-kind of love. Your pursuit of that person was worth more than your own health, your job, your own thoughts about yourself, your friends, your everything. It was all-consuming. The way you measure what is valuable is by asking: what is worth giving up everything for? Or go crazy: what is The One Thing worth giving up my very life for? That helps to remove selfishness as a motivational factor. When you have the answer, you are beginning to discover the meaning of life. God has designed our souls so that we are the most fulfilled when that which we value is actually something of real value. We find ourselves unfulfilled when we think we have gold and discover it was actually pyrite—fool’s gold. For some of us, fool’s gold might be material success. For others it can be sexual in nature. For leaders it may be power and the need to control…or a bigger organization. We can be obsessive about this pyrite…and hurt each other to get it because it looks so good. The zeitgeist of this world has a way of masquerading value—its expertise is drawing our attention to valueless things for us to invest our time, money and energy into. Madison Avenue is extremely skilled at this. There’s a reason why there’s nearly an hour of commercials during the Superbowl. I now buy pants that are called “relaxed fit.” That sounds nice, doesn’t it? Relaxed. You know what they should be called?—Pants-For-Old-Fat-Guys-In-Denial. But that wouldn’t sell because you wouldn’t go into the Gap and ask, “Hey, could you show me where the ‘Pants-For-Old-Fat-Guys-In-Denial’ section is?” Look at the flip side: for those of you with a child, you fondly remember the day of birth or adoption. In that tiny bundle of life you witnessed the spark of worth, and you made a promise that you would lay down your life for this little miracle, a promise that you would do anything. There was a sense of fulfillment because you placed value on something that actually has real value. We go through life discovering all kinds of different things worth giving up parts of ourselves for. And when those things actually have true value, our lives begin to carry a sense of meaning. Now imagine an object of Ultimate, Infinite Value. That’s what Jesus is trying to describe. And that would therefore mean that our lives would begin to carry the ultimate sense of meaning. Maybe it’s time to rediscover the value of the pearl. But here’s the kicker: even though life in the Kingdom of God is the treasure we are to discover, for God, you are the pearl of great value. And worth enough to give His own life. Now go into the New Year with that truth... Dave Workman | ELEMENTAL CHURCHES

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