People Still Searching – Hope 103.2

People Still Searching

People Still SearchingWhy are we still searching for something to give us meaning? And then there is the big question – what is the meaning of life? How do we find happiness? So many books and articles have been written on this theme – there’s no shortage of ideas or authors. It seems we are […]

By Chris WittsFriday 24 Jun 2016Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 4 minutes

People Still Searching

Why are we still searching for something to give us meaning? And then there is the big question – what is the meaning of life? How do we find happiness? So many books and articles have been written on this theme – there’s no shortage of ideas or authors. It seems we are still looking ..It seems we think there must be perfection somewhere out there – so we keep striving for this magical something – some of us find happiness in simple things like having a nice meal with friends or going to a movie. Or we are happy when we feel accepted by friends. That’s why peer pressure is such a big issue – being part of the crowd, and not left out.

Others say all we have to do is accept ourselves. Purpose. Meaning. True love. What is my place in the world? I also think a lot of people ask “what if I had never been born?”. “does anyone care that I have made an impact on society. Will I be remembered 100 years from now? Does it really matter what I do anyway?”  In the Peanuts comic strip, Lucy is outside one day with a skipping rope having a good time. Suddenly she stops and drags her jump rope over to Charlie Brown and says “I suddenly realized the futility of it all” .I think she has summed it up well. We look for a sense of identity, an inner knowledge of who we really are. Why do so many of us “just get by today” instead of being joyful and excited about life around us. It could be a sense of fragmentation. I’m referring to restlessness and boredom. Unfortunately others focus on the external things of life to find happiness – we’ve been conditioned by the media to equate possessions with joy. If money brings happiness, then who do so many “successful” people feel something is missing?

I have worked as a chaplain in a number of aged care centres and have lost count of the numbers of time elderly residents who told me how empty life has become in their twilight years. They say “This is not how I envisaged my life would become”. They contend with sickness, disease, bodily aches and pains, and feeling disillusioned.

A minister contacted a group of 15 young people and gave them a list of 16 things he thought they might be searching for. He asked them to study the list, and ask themselves what they want most – the things that are most important to them. They were aged 13 to 19, and it was an anonymous survey. So they were free to express their real thoughts. The 6 top points were
1.    To know that everything is right between me and God and have no feelings of guilt  or shame.
2.    To love and be loved by someone
3.    To have a close friend to be with me on my journey through life.
4.    To know I have been given something important to do with my life that will leave this world a better place.
5.    To live my life as an adventure, to explore and do things that take courage.
6.    To be able to like and love the person I am, and know that I am liked and loved by people that matter.

Interesting results here – they line up with what others say matters most, regardless of age. It’s about 3 things – someone to love, something to do, someone to be. To know I am OK and worth something.

Jesus said in John 10:10 “I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly”. It’s not something that’s forced onto you by a religious code, or to earn your way into God’s good book. No. Jesus came to restore the richness and vitality of life that we were originally created for. Trouble is we keep looking in the wrong places. It was Pascal who famously said “Man searches in vain, but finds nothing to help him, other than to see an infinite emptiness that can only be filled by One who is infinite and unchanging. In other words, it can only be filled by God Himself”.

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I think we lack true companionship in our life’s journey. If you are a Christian, you would see that through Jesus Christ, we belong to God and become brothers and sisters to one another. Christians know that we are not made to be alone. We need each other to bring guidance and wholeness, because we can’t find it on our own. That’s why a church is such a valuable institution, if you attend and allow others into your life who are like-minded. Share the journey with them.

I also want to say God really does have a plan for each of us, even if it takes a while to see what it is. Look at the New Testament and the disciples of Jesus as an example. What a strange and diverse group. They were fishermen, tax collectors, farmers. They must have been good at their trade. They made a living and looked after their families. But when they met Jesus, their lives changed. They discovered their true calling. They understood their mission in life. They were not “religious weirdos” – they were ordinary men who discovered what it meant to be alive, to be happy inside, where it really matters.

What are you searching for? Allow Jesus Christ into your life. You’ll soon find what you’re looking for.