The Meaning of Life
Luke 12:15 One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.
I am hesitant to write this story as it is the kind of story at which I am prone to roll my eyes. It is important though, so I am going to tell it and if you roll your eyes, I will not hold it against you.
Every morning I sit in my chair, drinking my coffee and talking to God. I pray, meditate and listen to what I hear him telling me through the passage I am reading. As it is not an audible voice, I fear that something may get lost in translation. So, I recently asked God to allow me to hear his voice more clearly. The thunder-clap immediately following my request made me jump and smile. He told me that his voice was everywhere and that I already had his instructions for life. I just needed to continue to read, pray and listen.
Most of us say we want to hear God’s voice. We go to him with big life decisions. We hope to hear from the almighty as we allow him to break the tie between choice A or choice B. Then, when we hear his voice, He says, Deny yourself and follow me. Love me and love your neighbor like yourself.
That is not helpful. We are hoping for something grander. Something like, You will find the meaning of your life if you will just take this job and move to Hawaii… We want supernatural input on where we are to live but we really do not want to be told how to live.
In today’s passage, Jesus revealed the meaning of life. In the story, He was confronted by a man angry about his inheritance (or lack thereof). He demanded that Jesus settle his score. It’s only fair! Jesus used the opportunity to tell his listeners not to get distracted from their true purpose in life.
He told of a wealthy landowner who reveled in his success only to have it all taken away in death. Upon his death, God asked the man, What good is it all now? Whose will it be? Jesus insisted that the meaning of life is not to store up earthly, temporal treasures but to store up eternal, heavenly treasures.
Though the temporal often seems more real to my flesh nature, the eternal is what truly matters. My life’s meaning lies not in temporal toys, but in that which will last for an eternity: my relationship with God and the love that I show others.
So, how do I invest in the eternal? I get up every day and I spend time with God. As my spirit life will long outlast my flesh life, I need to spend time working on it. When I am listening to God, my ears are open and I often realize that the price of the eternal is simply an hour of my time and the cost of a cup of coffee. It is usually in giving of my time and self that I can work on relationships that will far outlive my things.
Daily God allows me to invest in that which truly gives my life meaning. I so often get distracted by the shiny, temporal things of this world, though. So, daily, I need to make the conscious choice to turn from self and listen to the thunder.