I recently listened to a sermon in which the preacher described the meaning of life.
He was at the end of a series about fear. And the very last fear he sought to address was the fear of death. Most of our fears revolve around avoiding something. He aptly pointed out that death is something none of us can avoid.
He went on to say that Christians need not fear death because they know what happens afterwards. More importantly, they know what will happen to them. The mystery of death can be frightening, but if you believe in Jesus, all of the fears will dissolve, like sugar in a cup of hot tea.
At one point he explained that the promise of gaining heaven after we die is what makes life meaningful.
It wasn’t his main point, but I got stuck there. He was saying that we have one primary purpose to be alive. One goal. One them. Or in terms of story, one plot.
To go to heaven.
Heaven is a wonderful thing, and I don’t want to take away from that point. But going to heaven isn’t your purpose of being alive. If it were, then it makes you wonder why you are alive at all. And one might argue that the best thing that you can do with your life is to die.
To find meaning in your life means that you are alive for a reason. That your life transcends breathing and eating and sensing and feeling. That life has become more than a biologic process. That your life transcends the limits of a body, including the limitation of death.
If you want to find a purpose worth living for, you can look to Jesus. And Jesus life wasn’t about being in heaven. In fact that’s where he started, but he left. And it wasn’t found in what happened to him after he died. If so, why leave in the first place? The purpose of Jesus’ life is found in what he did while he was alive.
The purpose of Jesus’ life was to love, so much so, that he gave his life away.
Heaven is a free gift. It is something you receive. You can’t earn it, not even by believing right things. It can’t be your purpose for being alive because it is given to you regardless of what you say or do. Even if you choose to live without a bigger purpose, heaven is still given.
You find purpose for life not in what happens to you when you die, but in how you choose to live.
You find purpose and meaning in You life when you choose to live like Jesus. When you first love. And then that love causes you to give your life away.