GLMX #235: “What’s the Point of Everything?”

point-of-everything

One of the most acclaimed films of 2014 was “Boyhood.” It is remarkable in that it was filmed over a span of 12 years using the same actors who came together a few days each year. The film is simply billed as “the life of a young man, Mason, from age 5 to age 18.” It won Best Motion Picture and Best Director at the Golden Globe Awards and has been nominated for Best Motion Picture and five other awards at the Oscars.

One of the reasons why this film resonates with so many is because it is simply the depiction of the life of a boy, his family, and the people they come in contact with. Many people can relate to the experiences of the characters in the movie — growing up, attending school, graduating, making mistakes, marriage, divorce, moving from a place you have lived your whole life, etc. One reviewer noted that the fact that twelve years of a boy’s life has been condensed into less than three hours “has the remarkable — and no doubt intended — effect of making us realise just how short life is.”

Another effect the movie has is that it forces us to think about our lives in particular and about the meaning of life in general. Through the actions and words of the characters, we are reminded of how feeble we really are and how little control we really have over this thing called life. In one scene in the movie, the boy Mason says to his father, “So what’s the point?” His father replies, “Of what?” Mason says, “I don’t know, any of this. Everything.” His father says, “Everything? What’s the point? I mean, I sure don’t know. Neither does anybody else, okay? We’re all just winging it, you know.”

I don’t know about you, dear friend, but “just winging it” does not sound like a very optimistic view of life. Most of us will admit that what we want in life is some assurance about where we are and where we are going, some direction, some goals for the future, and some peace about what that future holds. In fact, if we knew that someone could tell us where we would be and what we would be doing with our lives five, ten, or fifteen years from now, we would be happy to get that information. If someone could tell us with certainty and proof what happens after death, we would eagerly sign up to know. We don’t want to live lives of uncertainty. We don’t want to just wing it. Continue reading “GLMX #235: “What’s the Point of Everything?””

In Search of the Meaning of Life (Part 1)

100 Days of Preaching the Gospel #38 | with Daniel Whyte III

TEXT — Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

There are so many people who go through life searching for satisfaction, fulfillment, happiness, and contentment. People pursue more money, more success, more education, and better relationships, all in an attempt to fill an emptiness that they feel inside their hearts and souls. These people are searching for meaning and purpose in life. Almost three thousand years ago, a man who we often refer to as ‘the wisest man who ever lived’, struggled with this same pursuit. His name is King Solomon, and he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes in which he documents his search for meaning in life.

Some people have said that the Book of Ecclesiastes is a very pessimistic book. But we must understand that Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes from the perspective of someone who was living under the sun, S-U-N. Anybody who lives only for this life will come to the same conclusions as Solomon did. However, if you live above the sun, S-U-N, in the Son, S-O-N (that is Jesus Christ), then you will come to the conclusion that life is very much worthwhile. In fact, Solomon gives us a glimpse of this kind of life at the end of his book when he states the following: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Chuck Swindoll said, “Ecclesiastes presents us a naturalistic vision of life—one that sees life through distinctively human eyes—but ultimately recognizes the rule and reign of God in the world. This more humanistic quality has made the book especially popular among younger audiences today, men and women who have seen more than their fair share of pain and instability in life but who still cling to their hope in God.”

The passage we just read is a summary of the various ways in which King Solomon attempted to find that meaning in life. From this and other passages in the Bible, we can identify six paths which Solomon pursued to find what he was searching for. After searching out all of these various paths, Solomon came to the same conclusion repeatedly — they all were “vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.”

The word “vanity” is a very interesting word. The original Hebrew word is “hebel” and it means “vapour or breath”. Therefore, something that is a vanity is something that is passing or short lived.

Today, let’s look at three of the ways Solomon searched for meaning in life, and how each of these ways failed to provide what he was searching for. Many people today search for meaning in the things we will discuss as well, and sadly find that these things do not provide meaning at all.

1. First of all, Solomon found that pleasure does not bring meaning or satisfaction in life and people today find the same.

2. Secondly, Solomon found that much accomplishments and achievements did not bring meaning or satisfaction in life without God, and people today find the same.

3. Third, Solomon found that wealth and material possessions did not bring meaning or satisfaction in life and people today find the same.

+ Plus, listen to the Walter Hawkins and Family singing “Jesus Christ is the Way” and Deitrick Haddon singing “Sinner’s Prayer”