Meaning: What Brings Life Meaning?
From one man he (God)made every nation of men, that they should inherit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him…‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’
The big, big questions bleed into each other, don’t they ladies? Of necessity, meaning follows my answer to being. Once I understand that I live and move and have (my) being in God, I can more easily determine what will bring meaning to life for me.
I found an interesting article by Derek Thompson in The Atlantic (2.24.19), “Workism is Making Americans Miserable”, which illustrates that for many of the college-educated elite, work has become “a kind of religion, promising identity, transcendence, and community.” As I look more deeply at the question, deriving our meaning from work does not seem to be God’s intent.
Instead, the life and breath and everything else of Acts 17:25 take on enormous significance: so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him. Paul’s message to the men of Athens is pretty clear: God created each and everyone of us, wherever we might live on the face of the earth, in whichever era we were born into, to actively seek and find and know and worship Him. Think what an entire world of God-seekers/worshipers would be like!
God knew what would bring meaning to life. Consider what a beautiful thing it must have been when Adam and Eve walked in harmony with God and creation. Read Tosca Lee’s Havah to get the gist of pure oneness with God and the created world. Weep at the loss of intimacy with the Almighty.
Men of old tried their best to catch the essence of true meaning for us. In Book One of the Confessions of St. Augustine we read: “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” The Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647) begins this way: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Peter clarifies the purpose of all people belonging to God: that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).
Jesus said it best when He claimed His work on earth was about to culminate in eternal life for all those who would indeed seek and find and know and worship God: “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).