Before I was saved, I was an atheist and believed that there was nothing more than this earthly life. This worldview led me wondering and wandering down a dark path. If it all ends in nothingness anyway and life is hard a good portion of the time, what is the point? Obviously my answers to those questions came once I was saved, but I recently heard a phrase that has caused me to remember those times: “Make your life meaningful enough to be worth the pain.”
No matter what belief they hold, I believe all people have an innate yearning to have a purpose for living. Having meaning is especially crucial when life becomes hard. They can fall back on that meaning in times of distress and remind themselves why they press on in the first place, as if meaning is almost like a lifeline or a safety net.
Once I was saved, I found the meaning I’d been missing. People living for the world, however, try to give their lives meaning in many ways. For some, it is in a successful career. For others, it’s in leaving a positive environmental impact. Some find it in their family legacy. While all of these are great pursuits, and are even espoused to some degree in the Bible, they are all temporary! How many of those people will have the fruits of their labor disappear after they’re gone? “For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits” (James 1:11).
The only meaning that truly matters is the one that is eternal. As Christians, we are fortunate to know that God has an eternal purpose for us and that each one of us has a meaningful place in the Body of Christ. We can take solace in this life because our purpose is greater. It reminds us to not take things with temporal meaning too seriously.