A while back, I decided to work on improving my keyboarding skills, which have never been very good, by the way. Thankfully, I have seen some improvement. One time I was typing away while looking intently at some text I was copying instead of at my hands so I could increase my typing speed. I was doing great–or so I thought. When I finally looked up at the letters on the screen, they made absolutely no sense at all. Every single word was wrong. Then I looked down at my hands. They were off by one place on the keyboard.
We all know that if your hands start out at the wrong place on the keyboard, it doesn’t matter how hard you try, nothing you type will make any sense. Maybe this can help us make sense out of this messed up world we live in. Life often feels meaningless, as Edna St. Vincent Millay expressed in her poem Lament: “Life must go on; I forget just why.” Are we missing something?
It is our nature as human beings to long for something that will give us a sense of fulfillment and meaning in the things we do. The longer we live, though, the more we realize how hollow our work and accomplishments really are. Every day the media is filled with more bad news. On top of that, as old age creeps up on us, we find our health and energy slipping away. When we are gone our children, and maybe our grandchildren, will remember us, but it won’t be long before the memory of us fades completely.
In the face of these depressing thoughts, the Bible bursts in as a breath of fresh air. For example, the theme of the entire letter of Romans is the good news or the “Gospel of God.” Paul uses the word “gospel” over 60 times in this letter. The word “gospel” carries the idea of something that is “good, merry, glad and joyful tidings that makes a man’s heart rejoice and makes him sing and dance and leap for joy.”
Why is the Gospel of God such amazingly good news? Let me illustrate it this way.
In this life, you are trapped inside a box. The walls of this box are labeled “time”. We arrive in this box without our permission, and we cannot get out of this box without dying. Once we are out, we can never get back into this box.
Something inside of us yearns to know what is outside of our box. That is why humans have invented so many gods who claim to “show” us what is outside of our box. Even Socrates said, “O that someone would arise to show us God.” Pascal said in his Pensees, “In every man there is a God-shaped vacuum.” That is why our world is filled with religions. They are everywhere because we all have an incurable desire to worship. The real question is what you will worship, not if you will worship.
That wonderful good news is that we no longer have to wonder what is outside of our “box.” God Himself came to us. He has invaded our box! “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:23). “And the Word
Over 2,000 years ago God took on human form and came into our “box” so that we could have a way to spend eternity with Him when our life is over. “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [the satisfaction of God’s wrath] for our sins” (1 John 4:9–10).
Our sinfulness, our selfish choices, have cut off our communication with God and led to those feelings of isolation I described earlier. Jesus, the Creator, took on human flesh so He could step in and pay the awful penalty our sin deserves. “If [Jesus] makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
The key that unlocks the meaning of life is our faith in Christ. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).
Put your faith in Jesus, and then you can say with the psalmist “As for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge…” (Psalm 73:28).
Put God in the center of your life instead of your own desires. Then and only then, will your life begin to make sense.