By Chris WittsFriday 3 Jan 2014Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
Sometimes I’ve heard people say “there must be more to life than this!”. It can be said in frustration or in sadness. There is a tone of disappointment that life is not all that exciting. I heard of one mother who told the story of her 7 year old son Jason. She sent him off to school one day and a little while later there was a knock at the door and she opened the door and it was Jason. “Jason,what are you doing here?” He said,”I’ve quit school!”,”Why have you quit school?” “Well”,he said,” it was too long,it was too hard,and it was too boring.” And his mother looked at him and said “Jason,you have just described life,get back on the bus!” Isn’t that how some people feel about life – too hard,too long,too boring? It’s a shame that many people never get beyond a life that is like that
You may have heard of popular American singer Peggy Lee who had many hit records in the 1960’s. She died in 2002,but one of her songs was called “Is that all there is”. It was written by somebody else that talks of seeing a building on fire,of being taken to the circus as a child,and then falling in love. And the chorus says “Is that all there is,my friend? Then let’s keep on dancing,if that’s all there is”. The psychologist,William Marston,asked 3,000 people “What have you got to live for?” He was shocked to find that 94% were simply enduring the present while they waited for the future; waited for “something” to happen; waited for children to grow up and leave home; or waited for next year; waited for another time to take a long-dreamed-about trip; and waited for tomorrow without realizing that all anyone ever has is today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow never comes. T. S. Elliott asks a profound question in one of his poems: “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? Where is the life we have lost in living?” That is probably the biggest question for our age. We’re always yearning for something more. We want to be amazed; we want to be wowed! We want to be swept away from the humdrum and ordinary. We yearn for more of a transcendent experience. Nothing’s ever quite enough. C.S. Lewis wrote that “We remain conscious of a desire which no natural happiness will satisfy.” (The Weight of Glory,p.6) To the question “Is that all there is?” the answer is “No! That’s not all there is. There’s God,and He’s enough.”
It gets down to a simple piece of logic: either God exists or He doesn’t. If He doesn’t,we don’t have to concern ourselves with trying to find something ultimately transcendent and out of this world. However,if God does exist,He’s the greatest thing,the greatest “being,” there is – and by very nature of that fact,our ultimate purpose should be to connect with Him. We were designed to delight in God – and to delight in Him most of all.
In the Star Wars saga there’s talk of “The Force,” but that’s all it is. People can access the force. People in the movie were told,”May the force be with you,” but this force isn’t portrayed as being someone specific. The miracle of the Christian faith is that. God has revealed Himself through His dealings with people and in His Word as a God who has personhood,who can have a personal relationship with people. In fact,He desires to relate in a positive way to people. In Psalm 149,the psalmist declares,” for the Lord takes delight in his people ” (Psalm 149:4) Imagine that! God wants to delight in us! He is interested in you and me in a personal way – that’s what makes life worthwhile. Rick Warren,in his book The Purpose Driven Life,says that you and I were planned for God’s pleasure! As C.S. Lewis says,we’re famous in God’s eyes! God has feelings,too! In fact,that’s where we get our ability to feel. It’s an inherited characteristic from having been made in His image. Think about it: if we can give God pleasure,wouldn’t it make sense that there’s no higher purpose in life?
Fanny Crosby is one of the most popular hymn writers of all time. Blind almost from birth,she lived to be ninety years old. When she was only eight years old she wrote this poem:
Oh,what a happy child I am
Although I cannot see.
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don’t.
To weep and sigh because I’m blind,
I cannot and I won’t.
That’s the attitude that makes all the difference ..
A young man in Italy had grown up with all the material things he could ever want. He was rich,he was popular,he thought he was happy. Then he went off to war and was confronted with the sense of futility and emptiness and pain that each one of us eventually has to come face to face with in this life. It turned him around and drew him to Christ who gave him such a sense of purpose,that he has inspired countless others across the centuries. His prayer summarizes the new sort of life Christ called him to:
Lord make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred,let me sow love; where there is injury,pardon; where there is discord,union; where there is doubt,faith; where there is despair,hope; where there is darkness,light; where there is sadness,joy. Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled,as to console; to be understood,as to understand; to be loved,as to love. For it is in giving that we receive,it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. St. Francis [The Book of Common Prayer]
* author – John Yates *