Do you find yourself asking this question? Maybe just to yourself, in your head? Or maybe, if you’re feeling vulnerable enough, to someone you know who won’t judge you? “What is the point?” I feel like everyone wonders this at some stage or the other. I know I’ve gone through seasons of life where every day – even multiple times a day – I would ask myself that same question. It felt like everything was meaningless, like my efforts to do the right thing didn’t matter, and my efforts to feel better by doing something I knew deep down was wrong just wouldn’t satisfy. I felt completely stuck, suspended in between, completely out of sorts, and not knowing which direction was up.

It felt like everything was meaningless, like my efforts to do the right thing didn’t matter, and my efforts to feel better by doing something I knew deep down was wrong just wouldn’t satisfy. I felt completely stuck, suspended in between, completely out of sorts, and not knowing which direction was up.

What is the point? Of this life. Of what we’re here for. Of how we’re supposed to spend our time. Of our striving and straining. Of our exhaustion and pain. If we knew the point, it would give us a reason to do what we’re doing. It would give us direction and purpose. It would give us an answer to that gnawing question. I once heard someone say that the purpose of life is to get to a point where you don’t need to ask “what is the purpose of life?” As if arriving at that place where it’s enough for you to just be alive and “live” is enough. Period.

Unfortunately, I’m not wired that way. I need more. I’ve been thinking about King Solomon a lot, most famous for his wisdom and wealth. He was way smarter than me or anyone else I know, and you’ll recall that he chronicles his attempts to answer “What is the Point?” in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He tried romantic love and sexual pleasure (he had 700 wives and 300 concubines). He tried affluence and opulence (the kingdom of Israel reached its apex in splendor and prosperity when he reigned). He tried intellectual achievement (he read and wrote extensively). He tried productivity and accomplishment (he built a great number of impressive buildings, parks, cities, and various commercial properties). He tried power (he ruled and dominated for four decades). And he tried leisure (singing, dancing, music making, comedy, partying, relaxing). Honestly, he tried everything “under the sun” – but that singular question still haunted him. And it made him mad, and sad, and bitterly disappointed. In fact, his writing repeatedly indicated that he hated life – that it was complete vanity and chasing after the wind.

I think when you’re asking the question “What is the point?” you’re right up against the place where you begin to hate life. Are you there right now? Have you been there? I know I have.

I think when you’re asking the question “What is the point?” you’re right up against the place where you begin to hate life. Are you there right now? Have you been there? I know I have.

Ultimately, Solomon returns to God and realizes that He has provided so many good things for our enjoyment here on earth, but that we need to intentionally include Him in everything – and live in a way that honors Him. We can’t try to replace Him with those good things. And yet so many of us have. Heck, I have definitely tried all of the things that King Solomon tried as he sought to find the elusive answer to that question. And similar to his experience, they just didn’t work.

Here’s my theory, based on my experience: People who live without a real, vibrant, consistent relationship with the Lord have many, many good things in their lives, but actually can’t truly, fully “enjoy” those things. Maybe because they feel all these heavy emotions like guilt or shame or anger or stress or fear or panic or FOMO or hopelessness. I’m not saying that I don’t ever struggle with any of those emotions even as a follower of Christ. I do. I’m just saying that as I keep first things first (growing in my relationship with God, and trying to honor Him), the heavy emotions don’t rule and reign my life. Rather, God does. this helps me maintain a proper perspective not only about the brevity of this life, but also its purpose while we are here. And I stay calmer, more humble, and more grateful while I carry a deep-seated conviction of hope no matter the circumstance.

To me, that is the point. And that is what I need to remember so that I can press onward. And upward.

Image source: https://bit.ly/2K0bCnc

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