You walk into a room at home and quietly say to yourself: now what did I come in here for?
I don’t know
My dearly beloved was walking through the house one day looking a bit lost.
I said: what are you looking for?
She said: I don’t know.
I said: I hope you find it.
She said: so do I.
I wonder if most people are aimlessly strolling through life maybe half-heartedly looking for something but don’t know what it is. Perhaps thinking they’ll know it if they find it. It’s a bit like pornography: I can’t define it but I’ll know it if I see it.
You won’t find it there
Hopefully they will know it if they find it but I suspect they aren’t really looking. And even if they are looking they’re probably looking in all the wrong places, and they won’t find it there.
The story is told of a man who came upon someone at night and said to him: what are you doing? I’m looking for something I’ve lost. So the first man says: why don’t you look down there under the street light?
The older we get, we’re most likely looking for meaning and satisfaction. What is that elusive something that will bring us the satisfaction we seek?
A more comfortable life, a new car, an overseas trip? If you’ve been to Timbuktu and all places in between, you’ve probably ‘arrived’ and may be the envy of some.
Yeah, yeah, yeah - tell someone who cares
I received an email sent to some 65 people which said he wouldn’t be able to attend an upcoming function because ‘we’ll be travelling through Mexico then’, or was it ‘we’ll be on a river cruise down the Rhine from Amsterdam to Budapest’.
This is code for: I’ve been everywhere man. Don’t I live an exciting, successful life? Envious?
But God says: “Everything” in the world, the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the “boasting of what he has and does” - comes not from the Father but from the world. (1 John chapter 2 verse 16).
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re sure to get there
Not knowing what we’re looking for when walking through the house is a bit like packing our bags and heading off on a holiday not knowing where we’re going.
Consider the Old Testament (OT) man-of-God, Abraham.
When he was seventy five years of age, God said to him: Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I “will” show you. (Genesis chapter 12 verse 1).
The strong promise then made (still relevant in the Middle East today, and beyond), followed: I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse. (ch 12 v 3).
Against God: God against you
It is both stupid and futile to try to buck against the advice of the Pharisee Gamaliel who said to the Jewish parliament of his day, the Sanhedrin that:
if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God. (Acts chapter 5 verses 38/39).
Then: you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have Me against you. I, the LORD, have spoken. (Numbers chapter 14 verses 34/35).
So what is that deep (often unstated: can’t put my finger on it) missing something in our life: personal satisfaction? Something profoundly deeper than that?
All is meaningless: a chasing after the wind
What am I here for? What is the meaning of it all? God has: set eternity in the hearts of men. (Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 11).Why am I acquiring all these things only to eventually leave them to someone else?
Again I saw something meaningless under the sun: There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. ‘For whom am I toiling’ he asked, ‘and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?’ This too is meaningless - a miserable business! (Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 8).
The patience of Job
Another OT great, Job, suffered fearfully.
After devastatingly being stripped of all ten of his children plus his great earthly wealth, to a combination of natural disasters and external criminality, upon receiving from servants in quick succession such shocking news, he was nevertheless able to ‘gasp-out’ (only superhumanly) these words sometimes recited at funerals:
‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised’. In all this Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (Job chapter 1 verses 21/22).
Whilst the loss of all his beloved children was surely Job’s most crushing trial, even today Jesus still warns about material wealth that: Life does not consist in the abundance of our possessions.
There is so much more to life than the house we live in, the car we drive, and the possessions we’ve stock-piled. Jesus warns about the danger of the “deceitfulness” of wealth.
An old friend once said to me: “Gav, when they’re chuckin’ the dirt in on ya, doesn’t matter what house ya lived in’.
Our LORD says there is great godliness in contentment. I have learned the “secret” of being content in any and every situation…whether living in plenty or in want.. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians chapter 4 verses 12/13).
Hope I never have to find out, but how great is that?
Gavin Lawrie is a retired Barrister and Solicitor from Tweed Heads NSW Australia and author of the book: 'THE EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION: Uncovering The Faulty Science Of Dawkins' Attack On Creationism'. He is married to Jan with two adult children and they are grandparents.
Gavin Lawrie's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/gavin-lawrie.html