People Still Searching — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

People Still Searching — Morning Devotions

Even though many people refuse to accept God, they still live their lives trying to fill a God shaped hole.

By Chris WittsTuesday 17 Oct 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Why are we still searching for things that really we’re trying to get meaning for? And then there’s this big question. What is the meaning of life? How do we find happiness? It’s such a big topic, isn’t it? So many books and articles have been written on this theme. There’s no shortage of ideas or authors, but it seems that we’re still looking. It seems like there must be perfection somewhere out there. So we keep striving for this magical something.

Some of us find happiness and the simple things in life, like having a nice meal with friends or going to the movies. Or we’re just happy when we feel accepted by friends. And that’s why peer pressure is such a big issue, being part of the crowd and not being left out. And others say that all we have to do is to accept ourselves.

What is my place in the world now?

That is a huge question, and I also think a lot of people ask what would have happened if I’d never been born? Does anyone care that whether I’ve made an impact on society or not, and in 100 years, will I be remembered from now on? Will anyone bother? Does it matter what I do?

In the Peanuts comic strip, Lucy is one day outside with a skipping rope, having a good time, and suddenly she stops and drags her jump rope over to Charlie Brown and says, Hey, I’ve suddenly realized the futility of it all.

And I think she summed it up well, we look for a sense of identity and inner knowledge of who we are. Why is it that so many of us just get by today, instead of being positive, being joyful and being excited about life around us? It could be this word fragmentation. We feel fragmented, restless and bored, and unfortunately, others focus on external things. And I think we’ve been conditioned by the media to equate possessions and things with joy. If money brings happiness, if that’s true, why do so many so-called successful people feel that something is missing?

I’ve worked as a chaplain in a number of aged care centres, and I’ve lost count actually of the numbers of times that the elderly residents would tell me how empty life has become as they get older in their twilight years. They say things like, “This is not how I envisaged my life would become” and as they contend each day with sickness and disease, you know, the aches and the pains and the sense of disillusionment as well.

I came across a minister who contacted a group of 15 young people that he knew, and he gave them a list of 16 things that he thought they might be searching for in their own lives. And so he wanted them to study the list, ask themselves what are the most important things to them now? These were kids aged 13 to 19. It was an anonymous survey, so they’re under no pressure because they could express their own thoughts. He asked for the top six things, and these were in order

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  1. To know that everything is right between me and God,
  2. That I’ve got no feeling of guilt or shame
  3. To love and be loved by someone, to have a close friend to be with me on the journey through life
  4. To know I’ve 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 to take courage
  6. To be able to like and love the person that I am, to know that I am liked and loved by people that matter

They were the six results, that are interesting because regardless of age, it lines up with what others say. It’s about three things, someone to love, something to do, someone to be to know that I am OK and that I’m worth something.

So no wonder, Jesus said in recorded in John 10. I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly. Another Bible version says I have come, that they might have real and eternal life, better life than they’ve ever dreamed of. So this is not something forced onto you by some religious code.

It’s Jesus who came to give us vitality and a sense of purpose, and I think that we lack companionship, and yet, if you’re a Christian, you would see that with Jesus and getting to know other people. Perhaps that’s why church is so important. You can share the journey of life with them. So I want to say this morning that God has a plan for us. If you’re searching, take the time to understand what it is that God is saying.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, I’m so grateful that you answer my prayers as we’re looking, as we’re searching. Even if we don’t realise what’s going on, Lord, you will say yes. No or wait. Help me to learn the lessons of prayer. And what would I do without it? Thank you. Amen.