So many folks today are searching for meaning in their lives. Because of the values of our secular society, they look for satisfaction in the accumulation of wealth, power, prestige, or sexual conquests. But so many folks remain unsatisfied in their search. They have all of these things, but still want more. It is an unfortunate reality that accumulation of material things really never satisfies the basic human search for meaning and truth.
This search is not at all helped by the modern philosophy that maintains that one can select, like a cafeteria, those things that have meaning and purpose for their lives without out regard to others. Modern society not only embraces this relativism but encourages folks to be selfish about their lives. One is encouraged to look better, have more, be more, by acquiring all of the latest gadgets, vehicles, clothes, makeup, body spray, toothpaste, prescription drugs -- and the list is endless. But it never seems to satisfy, because folks continue to search for the next "greatest thing" in their lives. "If only....." or "I'll be happy when ....." have become the plainsongs of the modern age.
Well, why does this search even exist? Why do folks need to "find" that one thing that will satisfy their every need? What are they looking for, really??
I think that each of us, through our creation as humans, is embedded with a natural thirst for something bigger and better than ourselves -- something that will provide us with the raison d'être for life. This search is our essence and is manifest from the very beginning of our lives deep in our mother's womb. If we are not shown a way to relieve this thirst, then we will make up an answer; and, modern society has created consumerism to satisfy this quest for meaning.
I suggest that never will we find satisfaction through consumerism or any other modern ploy. They will only provide little moments of happiness, albeit fleeting. We need something much more satisfying to ease this essential tension in our soul. I think that the Psalmist says it best in this little excerpt:
2As the deer longs for streams of water,a
so my soul longs for you, O God.
3My soul thirsts for God, the living God.
Yes, we need something much bigger than our selves. Inherent in our inner being, our soul, is this drive, this search, this thirst for a living water that will satisfy our longing. You see, when we decide to exert our natural freedom of choice, we often choose a path that does not bring us to satisfaction; rather, we get only that fleeting joy of accumulation of things.
We should aim for a higher goal; and that goal is a life centered on "the living God" -- not the gods of power, wealth, prestige, or sexual conquest. The "living God" provides us with "living water" that will fully quench our thirst. And, we find this "living God" in all those people we meet every day -- the poor, the lost, the homeless, the prisoner, the hungry, the destitute, the marginalized. Virtually, everyone we meet has some issue that can be identified by a broad definition of these categories. But, each of us must first get out of ourselves, center our purpose on the other, and change the direction of our lives.
We can do this because we accept that there is a "living God" who loves us so much that he constantly showers us with His grace. But, we have to acknowledge His love and respond accordingly. And Jesus tells us how:
15i “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1
5Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.d John 3
So, if we are searching for something to satisfy that natural thirst in our inner being, we have the answer: give our lives to Jesus -- not the Jesus of selfish "Christians" who have succumbed to the world's ways, but the Jesus preached in the Bible -- the one who loves us all, but still admonishes us to straighten out our lives ("repent and believe" & "go and sin no more"). So, we can satisfy that inherent thirst, but the "rules" still apply; we can't just do what ever feels good and expect that the "living God" will be happy with that.
But, when we give our self over to this way of life, we find a new freedom that is so satisfying that we cannot describe it except:
1A psalm of thanksgiving.
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
2serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
3*Know that the LORD is God,
he made us, we belong to him,
we are his people, the flock he shepherds.a
4Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name;b
5good indeed is the LORD,
His mercy endures forever,
his faithfulness lasts through every generation.
May God Give You Peace!