“What’s the meaning of life?” An age old question that some might think will never be answered. But fear not, we have Scripture. Want to figure out how to impress your friends into believing you’re a philosophical genius? Read on.
My favorite book in the Bible is Ecclesiastes, and I’m aware that this could be a pretty weird statement. If you have one of those Bible that has titles for big chunks of verses, you’ll notice that the title for Ecclesiastes might be something like “Everything is Meaningless.” Later we read things like, “Wisdom is Meaningless,” “Pleasures are Meaningless,” and “Toil is Meaningless.” Pretty uplifting, huh?
The thing is, sometimes I totally get this. We work, we try to find enjoyment in things, we stuff our brains with information. Then at the end of the day I find myself thinking, well, I have to do all of that stuff again tomorrow, and what’s the point? I feel like that guy Sisyphus who was condemned to pushing a boulder up a hill just to let it roll down and do the whole thing over again. This sentiment is reflected in Ecclesiastes when Solomon writes, “So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me.
Have you ever thought about the meaning of life? The first few times I did it made me dizzy. But here’s why I love Ecclesiastes so much; it gives us an answer, and maybe you already know it. “A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 2:24-26)
Soren Kierkegaard, known as the father of Existentialism (a philosophy centered around existence), held that humans needed to consider their need for God in order to have a truly fulfilled human existence. I think this is what Solomon is talking about in Ecclesiastes. Without considering God in pondering our meaning of life all of those things, wisdom, pleasures, toil, everything is meaningless.
So I ask you, where do you find your meaning? Maybe if you’re feeling like you’re constantly pushing a boulder up a hill and watching it roll down again, you can look up to God at the top of that hill and say, “I’m doing this for you. I find meaning in this work because of you. Thank you.”
Tuesday Talk it Out
I think this would be a good week to talk with some peers your age, who might look for meaning in things similar to yourself. Discuss the places where you might be placing too much meaning, and ways in which you can redirect that to God.
Wednesday Research It
Sometimes I just open up my Bible to a random page and try to find random inspiration from whatever is written. In doing this, I don’t think much about the context or about who has written the words I’m writing. Uh, I guess God wrote the whole thing so it doesn’t matter, right? In this particular scripture referenced this week, King Solomon is believed to be the speaker in Ecclesiastes. To me, King Solomon is kind of one of those names we hear in Scripture and don’t think much of. Today, do a little research on King Solomon and why he might have written from the perspective he did in Ecclesiastes.
Think about the meaning of life!!! Next time someone tries to stump you by asking you what the meaning of life is, you’ll blow them away with an answer.
Friday Live it Out
Live today with the mantra of God being your reason for living. In every task you complete think, thank you God for allowing me to do this in your name.
Look over your studies and conversations from this past week. What has been the most meaningful thing you’ve learned? What have you learned about yourself? What has this meant for your relationship with God?