Your life is MEANINGLESS! Your life HAS NO PURPOSE! No direction, no place to go – nothing of VALUE to LOOK FORWARD TO! Do you want to FIX THAT? Do you want to UNDERSTAND why, and CHANGE IT? Do you want to feel CONTENTED, FULFILLED, SATISFIED, TRULY THRILLED to be alive??
I want you to think about this. What did you do today, that you didn’t do yesterday? And what will you do tomorrow that you didn’t do today? Anything? Or is your life, like practically EVERYONE ON EARTH, merely a drudgery of repetition – a boring, seemingly endless cycle of emptiness?
You know that you will get up tomorrow and go to work and do the exact SAME THINGS you did yesterday; you’ll repeat this daily routine, with minor variations, until one day you’re too old to do it! Then you’ll pine away in some retirement home, forsaken by your family and everyone you once knew, trapped in a failing body and doomed to spend the few remaining days of your life in misery.
Will the world have noticed your existence? Will anyone have profited by your being here? Is there anything after that? Is your life, your very existence nothing but a series of cosmic accidents, or is there a PURPOSE to it all? WHY WERE YOU BORN??
Every serious-minded person has asked this question at at least one point in their life. Where is the answer? The churches don’t have it. They squabble amongst themselves, and have the same problems that everyone else does. They’re certainly not happy and contented with life.
On the other hand, atheists don’t have it. They lead a life that generally revolves around getting ahead of everyone else; after all, this is the only life they have, so they want to get the most out of it, at any price. But their existence is just as empty as everyone else’s.
So WHERE is the SECRET OF LIFE? The KEY that holds happiness, joy, and peace?
The secret is in YOU. YOU can change it, and YOU can make it better. But! Yes, that troublesome little word, BUT, you will have to change YOU. And I believe that once you understand your AWESOME POTENTIAL, you will be WILLING to make even that sacrifice!
Let’s say for a moment that the earth was to be changed to fit your idealistic view of it. You would STILL be unhappy! You would STILL be depressed, unfulfilled, and morose! BECAUSE IT WOULDN’T CHANGE YOU! If you were to win the lottery, you would no doubt be even more unhappy than you are now! Surely you already know that!
No matter WHAT situation you were placed in, you would soon create the EXACT situation you are in now! Because you caused it before, and you would cause it again! And if you TRULY WANT TO BREAK THE CYCLE, YOU HAVE TO BE THE ONE WHO DOES IT!!
Think back to the times when you’ve been the happiest. And I don’t mean merely elated, or lost in a thrill, but TRULY happy. The kind of happiness that you can just melt into and soar away. What were you doing at the time? It wasn’t the time you won the big game, or the time you got the promotion. Those things never made you happy, they just momentarily distracted you from the depressing reality of life.
Music, television, four-wheeling, vacations, these things never made you HAPPY, they just filled your mind up, and chased away that hole that has always been present in you. They occupied your thoughts and kept you busy, and as long as you were busy you were more or less at peace… until the tune ended, and you were left with cold, stark reality.
No, the times you were happy were the times you cared about something bigger than yourself. Perhaps a friend, or more probably a romantic friend, that you cared for deeply. Someone that you wanted to impress. No, that’s not the right phrase; I should say, someone you didn’t want to disappoint.
When you worked to make that person happy, not out of a selfish motive of greed or avarice, but because you cared about how they felt, and worried about what they needed, and valued their opinion of you and refused to let them down… well, I’m willing to bet that that was the happiest time of your life.
Most people go through this feeling before they marry someone. This feeling fills them up, and seals the gap in their soul and makes them truly happy, a feeling which they’ve never felt before. For the first time in their lives they feel satisfied, and fulfilled. The sky never seemed so blue, the birds never sang so bright, and the world just never seemed like such a great place until now.
This is what life was MEANT to be like! This is what God INTENDED for man from the beginning! Christ said “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Man was meant to live life to the full, to have an entire life that felt like the first few days of your first love!
Practically everyone has experienced a time like this at least ONCE in their life! And each and every one of them have stumbled across the SECRET OF LIFE! They have all they need to put together the pieces of the puzzle of happiness, but sadly, most never do. It’s as Churchill once said; “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”
Let’s take, for example, a young man. He meets a young woman who makes him feel this way, and in due course of time they get married because, for the first time in their lives, they have found true happiness.
He, without knowing it, has found the answer, and he LIKES the results! And, naturally enough, he assumes that the other person is responsible for his newfound happiness. But what he doesn’t know is that the other person is only the CATALYST for his happiness.
You see, the world is filled with hollow people. Man was made with an empty space in his soul. This empty space needs to be filled, and some try to fill it with possessions, some with work, some with money, and some with pure power. But these things, all of them, are nothing more than drugs. Drugs to dull the feeling of the, to them, curse of existence.
But no matter what he does, man always winds up back where he started, lonely and empty, because those things aren’t what man was made to need! Those are nothing more than band-aids for his soul, like trying to patch up a hole in a wall with cardboard. It looks like it filled the hole – until it rains.
But let’s get back to our newly married young man. He is happier than he ever thought possible, as is his blushing bride. He finally feels whole. He feels this way because for the first time in his life he truly belongs to something, and cares for something, bigger than himself. He is happy because the hole built into his soul has finally been filled!
But before too long, there is trouble in paradise. Something changes and they no longer patch up that gap in each other’s heart. After at most a year or two, they’re no longer fulfilled like they used to be. What happened? What changed? Why do the appliance warranties outlast most marriages?
What happened was that one person couldn’t possibly need all the love that he was designed to need to give. To put it another way, he now belonged to something bigger than himself, but it wasn’t “bigger” enough! He needed to belong to something, and help something, and care about something STILL BIGGER!
But why was it enough in the beginning? Why did this one person once supply all the emotional outlet he needed? Well, while dating our hero spent relatively little time around his sweetheart, so when they were together, he could spend all his time thinking about ways to make her happy.
This made him feel good about himself and about the world at large, because for the first time in his life he felt needed. He was doing something good for something larger than himself. At last he felt complete. And so, thinking this to be the answer, he got married.
But what he didn’t realize was that the other person didn’t CONTAIN the missing piece of his soul! She didn’t fill his soul, SHE HELPED HIM FILL HIS OWN SOUL! Caring about someone else brought out that missing piece FROM WITHIN HIM, WHERE IT WAS HIDING ALL ALONG!
Before I can finish explaining how this works, I have to answer another question; WHY does man need this? Why is man hollow? Why must he give of himself to something greater than himself to be happy?
Well, let’s go back to when man was created. Remember, God designed the spirit of Man. And He knew that Mankind had this need. That’s why He didn’t leave him alone in the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
God knew that, left to Himself, man is without purpose, and he NEEDED SOMEONE! This wasn’t an accident! God wanted Man to have this vacuum inside him that must be filled, because GOD KNEW THIS WOULD LEAD MAN INTO HAPPINESS, and into doing GOOD for his fellow man! God CREATED this deficiency in mankind for a PURPOSE!
Now, man’s thirst for someone to care for is partially (and therefore temporarily) satisfied by finding a spouse, but he soon needs more. He soon needs to show that same feeling, that same concern for others that he has thus far reserved for his spouse to others, in order to continue feeling that feeling of blissful peace that he felt on his first date.
Often this frustration, which both partners feel, leads to constant bickering. And so once again, they are in search of a soulmate. Someone to fill that need. Some of the more stubborn ones stick it out to old age, unhappily resigning themselves to a lifetime manacled to someone they thought possessed the other half of their soul.
Of course, most simply call it quits and go off in search of someone else to give them their “fix”. They then repeat this cycle and all too soon are left more empty than before. That this process describes nearly every marriage in this nation is depressing beyond expression, and is only made more lamentable by the fact that all that they really need to do is to, together, begin caring for others. Then, without neglecting each other, the needs of each are filled.
And I don’t mean mean something exotic like missionary work – I mean making the world a better place wherever they are. All they need to do to save their marriage is work together for a common goal, for the good of something greater than either one of them! That is the only truly satisfying thing any human being can do, and the only way they can salvage their wrecked marriage, and indeed, their wrecked lives! THIS IS THE ONLY thing that can produce the sort of marriage that everyone wants!
Who hasn’t heard something like “Our marriage was at it’s best when she was having trouble with work, and we supported each other”, or “they had the perfect marriage while he was struggling up the ladder of success, but once he got to the top, it just withered”?
I believe it stands proved that it is an inherent part of all of us to need to feel we are a part of something bigger and better than ourselves. I think it is established that happiness is brought about by helping others. But that feeling of happiness is precious, and requires regular maintenance. You can’t help one little old lady across a street and be satisfied for the rest of your life, BECAUSE THAT ISN’T ENOUGH!
But all of this is quite easy to do. It’s easy to put the key in the lock of contentment, if you only will. Let’s take for example the elderly. How many ornery, cantankerous old people do you know? Bitter, wizened people who feel that the world owes them something? They feel this way because they lived a long life, and it never got better than yours is right now. In fact, it probably got worse, as yours will given time, if you don’t do something soon. And after a lifetime of this, never having felt this feeling I’m describing for more than a few brief moments, they feel the world owes them that feeling.
So how then can these same elderly people be happy? By feeling needed, and by being able to help other people. How can they do that? By DOING SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE BESIDES THEMSELVES! But you might ask, “they are old, and tired, what can they do?” My response is that if they aren’t too old and tired to make other people miserable and hate them, THEY AREN’T TOO OLD TO MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY!
If they can’t do anything else, they can knit coats and their grandchildren can sell them on Ebay! They can grow a garden to give food to their neighbors. Regardless of their condition, they can do SOMETHING that helps someone besides themselves, and in so doing, will at last find happiness in their old age, and be PLEASANT to be around, instead of avoided and shunned by their children and friends whom they have alienated with their precocious attitudes!
This one principle will fix the life of anyone on earth, not just the elderly. It will make anyone happy regardless of his circumstances. It will make him, as Paul said, happy in whatever state he finds himself (Philippians 4:11). Have you ever seen travelogues or video clips of third-world countries, with squalor and poverty everywhere you look, and the children playing in the street, and in many cases THEY ARE HAPPIER THAN OUR CHILDREN ARE!
Compare the expressions on the faces of children in OUR schools to those on people in other countries! Smile for smile, we are one of the unhappiest nations on earth, because WE ARE THE ONE OF THE MOST SELFISH PEOPLE ON EARTH!
We are drunk on the idea of getting ahead, high on the “American dream” of the 3000 square foot suburban house with 3 new cars in the driveway, and have totally forgotten how to care for anyone but ourselves, EVEN WHEN THAT SOMEONE IS A SPOUSE OR RELATIVE! AND THIS IS WHY WE ARE UNHAPPY!
So far we’ve only spoke of the route to happiness on an individual level. But what if, instead of one lone man doing it, ALL OF MANKIND DID IT! What if EVERYONE sought happiness in helping others! Can you even picture such a society?
For now, we can feel fulfilled and completed, even without that “perfect partner” (who, as you think of them, almost certainly does not exist), by making the lives of others better. Even in this depraved world, we have no excuse for not doing this. But can you imagine a society populated by people, who ALL did this??
Words fail me to describe it, so imagine it for yourself. Ponder it well, for it is the future God has in mind for this Earth.
You see, God designed Man to create this society you just pictured, automatically. God created man “hollow” so that a thinking person could see the happiness that following God’s way provides, both for you, and everyone around you! He created us this way so that person would not be left without a guide in righteousness. In short, this hole is God’s way of making Man upright!
Ecclesiastes 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
God DESIGNED MANKIND TO NEED TO LOVE SOMEONE, and MANKIND WILL BE EMPTY UNTIL HE FILLS THAT NEED! Man in general can reject it, he is free to do so, but SOME FEW will make the connection between a certain action and happiness, and the opposite action and sorrow, AND FEWER STILL WILL HAVE THE STRENGTH TO OBEY THAT KNOWLEDGE AND BE HAPPY!
Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
The BIBLE was written to teach Man how to be happy! Not merely to obey the laws of stealing to prevent you from hurting other people, but to actually MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY BY OBEYING THEM! It was written to tell YOU how to fill that HOLE IN YOURSELF!
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that KEEPETH THE LAW, HAPPY IS HE.
The ENTIRE BIBLE boils down to the law and the prophets, and all of the law and the prophets hangs on those two commandments, and that comes down to…
Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
These scriptures were written to teach you how to fill that hole! They were passed down to us so that we, too, would have access to the only knowledge that can give us contentment! THIS IS THE SECRET OF LIFE, and the MEANING OF LIFE!
The secret of life is in caring more for others than you do for yourself! (Philippians 2:3) When you care for THEIR needs, you are serving something greater than yourself, and you can at last feel you BELONG!
Acts 20:35 … remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
These are no idle platitudes as you’ve always heard them spouted by men who didn’t know what it meant to give! These are not abstract concepts blurted out by the “holy” people to make themselves look good in the eyes of everyone else!
Those people aren’t happy – No, they are some of the most miserable people on Earth, because THEY don’t have the keys to happiness, they CANNOT have the keys to happiness, because THEY are filling that hole in themselves not with giving, but with RECEIVING GLORY FROM MEN! The flattery of men satiates their thirst, BUT IT CAN NEVER SATISFY IT!
They don’t know what LOVE is, so they can’t GIVE IT, and can never be filled with empty pleasures enough to know happiness! They will give a homeless drunk $10 so he can go buy more booze. That doesn’t help him! It only helps him continue hurting himself!
It doesn’t help your children to bail them out of jail for a crime they committed! It strengthens them in their evil! It doesn’t help society to feed a stray cat so it can produce a dozen more stray cats in six months, all of whom will be hungry and suffering and starving!
THESE THINGS ARE NOT ACTS OF LOVE, BUT ACTS OF HATE!
It doesn’t help society to pick up cans along a roadside, or to volunteer at local charities. It doesn’t help mankind to fluff the pillows of the belligerent elderly, nor does it TRULY help ONE SINGLE PERSON to do the things this world calls love!
It DOES NOT HELP that homeless drunk to give him money to buy another drink, or even another meal, because tomorrow he will want another! BUT IT WOULD HELP HIM, and it WOULD help ALL OF MANKIND, to teach him the TRUTH about God! To teach HIM the meaning of life! To teach HIM the gospel Christ preached, and to teach HIM how to turn society around into the GARDEN OF EDEN THAT IT COULD BE!
THE SECRET OF LIFE is not the FAKE, HARMFUL “LOVE” that this world teaches and does, it’s not do-gooder societies, charities, and hateful old ladies hidden by a mask of love and so-called “good works”, the secret of life is the TRUE LOVE OF GOD! The love that will condemn sin, the love that will CONVICT the world of it’s evil and make it change! NOT the love that will give a rebellious sinner a meal, but the LOVE that will MAKE HIS LIFE HAPPY FOR ALL TIME! The love that will TELL a thief why he will always take and never be satisfied! The love will produce, the love that MUST PRODUCE JOYFUL relationships, and HAPPY homes! THIS IS THE MEANING OF LIFE!
Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
And now it’s time to spring upon you the thrilling conclusion I’ve been building up to… Do you know why Man has this deficiency? Do you know why MAN is missing a piece of himself? Do you know why GOD BUILT US TO NEED TO GIVE SOMETHING TO SOMEONE ELSE TO FEEL COMPLETE?? BECAUSE GOD HIMSELF HAS THAT SAME HOLE IN HIS SOUL!!
We are created in the Image of God, after His likeness! We are PATTERNED after God Himself! God IS Love, and WHAT USE IS LOVE unless you have someone to whom to give it? What use is caring, if you have only yourself to care for? NONE! Just as you have discovered in your short life, the most beautiful sunset is wasted if you have no one with whom to share it!
GOD is a “Hollow” God! God NEEDS that very same thing He created us to need! God NEEDS beings to love, to fulfill HIS nature, and FILL THAT GAP GNAWING AT HIS PSYCHE! God is half a God with half a heart, who will never be completed until His family numbers in the Billions, with BILLIONS OF PEOPLE TO MAKE HAPPY!
Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
WE WERE CREATED FOR THE PLEASURE OF ALMIGHTY GOD! WE WERE CREATED THAT HE MIGHT HAVE BEINGS WITH WHOM TO SHARE THE SUNSETS OF ALL THE UNIVERSE, AND THAT HE MIGHT HAVE PARTNERS FOREVER IN THE SHEER JOYS OF EXISTENCE!
THAT IS WHY YOU WERE BORN, AND HOW YOU CAN BE FOREVER HAPPY IN ANY SITUATION! THAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE!