The search ...> Purpose.
I take you back to Paul
I take you back to Ephesians 2.8-10
Listen to podcast: https://www.pastorwoman.net/podcast/episode/20d64c6f/one-meaningful-search-june-30-2022
Sometimes people do not even know they are searching for God. . . they are just looking for meaning in life, looking for answers to questions they haven’t quite formed.
Sometimes people go on an insane search for meaning and purpose after a dramatic, life-altering event— like the death of someone loved almost as much as life itself—or when diagnosed with a terminal disease and considering their own mortality—or after everything else has come up meaningless and the nagging emptiness within will not be quieted.
Sometimes, questioning begins upon college graduation - all that for this? What now? - or at midlife with a realization that half of life is over, and there is a casting about to answer the question, ‘is this all there is?’ Some go out and do foolhardy things, others just ask more questions becoming increasingly unsettled about the reason for their existence. Many who have been unwilling to consider the role of God finally apply themselves to a more diligent, honest searching, having grown tired of the inability to find meaning without him ... tired even of living for self and all that means.
Seventeen hundred years ago, a loose-living Augustine tried to find meaning in every other thing that this world has to offer... and came up empty. A faithful God answered the prayers of a faith-filled praying mother, and an immoral, hearthardened Augustine ultimately surrendered himself to God. He wrote of the seeking soul, “The thought of you stirs him so deeply that he cannot be content unless he praises you, because you made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you.”1 Expressed another way by a 17th century Scottish preacher, “The soul of man .... hath in it a raging and inextinguishable thirst—never doth a soul know what solid joy and substantial pleasure is till, once being weary of itself, it renounced all property [and] gives itself up to the Author of its being.”2
Blaise Pascal, (French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher from the 17th century), taught that man tried ineffectually to fill the empty void of his soul by his surroundings – “So he vainly searches, but finds nothing to help him, other than to see an infinite abyss that can only be filled by One who is Infinite and Immutable. It can only be filled by God.” 3
And before these men so eloquently expressed the emptiness that man longs to fill, Solomon—David’s son, known for his wisdom, indulgent lifestyle and wealth—wrote ‘Vanity of vanities—all is vanity’ or ‘everything is meaningless.’4
May I ask...How do YOU interpret life? Or, what is your worldview? These are the major driving questions of That Search:
HOW DID I GET HERE? Simplistically, you have two choices: Evolution (might include various iterations), or Intelligent Design/ Creationism. What difference does your answer make? The first implies that you came into existence because of some random or even accidental occurrence, while the latter implies intention, design, uniqueness, and purpose.
WHY AM I HERE? Or DO I HAVE ANY REASON/PURPOSE IN LIFE? Well, how did you answer the first question? If mankind is just a random entity—not endowed with life and meaning by a Creator—then maybe we do just ‘go around once and then we die—so we should live it up!’
OUR PURPOSE CAN ONLY BE KNOWN THROUGH THE CREATOR. Consider the artist and the artwork. I can look at a sculpture or a painting or drawing and completely miss its value, but when I ask its creator—the artist—then I understand its purpose, its value, and its intention.
Do you see my point? In truth, it really is quite simple—in the beginning, God... and 26 verses later, God said, ‘let us make man in our own image,’ and he did - male and female he created them! And so he created us. With that, and from that, comes the very meaning of life, and our purpose.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2.8-10
Created by God ... saved and redeemed ... for the purpose of good works.
If you have an open and honest search for meaning, you will find it begins and ends with God.
Song? Oh sure! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48pNX2o-PBs
1 - Augustine of Hippo (354–430), in Confessions.
2 - Henry Scougal, Scottish minister, author of Life of God in the soul of Man
3 - Blaise Pascal, Thoughts.
4 - Ecclesiastes 1.2