Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
“What is the meaning of life?” asked the student of the rabbi. The rabbi replied, “That is such a wonderful question, why would you want to exchange it for an answer?”
Forget prudence, eat, drink, and seize any fleeting moment of happiness. What else is the point of living? You worked hard, and someone else gets the credit. You struggle to be good, and bad people trample you. You accumulate money, and you don’t even get to enjoy it. You seek pleasure and it turns sour. Besides, everyone meets the same end: we all die. Death contradicts any notion that we are born to be happy.
An encounter with beauty or an experience of intense joy may cause us for a time to forget our true mortal state – but not for long. We realize that we cannot figure out life on our own and nothing on this side of timed paradise will quiet the rumors of discontent.
A person may sense eternity in the heart and never turn to God who placed it there. You may fail on the positive side by frantically chasing wealth, success, gourmet sex; or you may fail on the negative side by dropping out, giving up, and sinking into a chemical stupor. A devotion to pleasure will paradoxically lead to utter despair.
The stones we trip over are good things in themselves. Despair descends as we abuse God’s good gifts; turning nudity into pornography, wine into alcoholism, food into gluttony, human diversity into racism and prejudice. Our propensity to sin is incurable without the Divine Healer and Savior.
The Bible calls us to accept our status as creatures under the dominion of the Creator. He calls us to surrender our meaningless lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the only Savior, to find what truly satisfies. Until then, life will not make sense and will never fully make sense because we are not God.
(Excerpts from The Bible Jesus Read by Philip Yancey, pp.143-167).
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