Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Meaning of Life: Part 3: It's Never too Early

You who are young, be happy while you are young,
   and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
   and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
   God will bring you into judgment. 
So then, banish anxiety from your heart
   and cast off the troubles of your body,
   for youth and vigor are meaningless. Ecclesiastes 11:9-10

Remember your Creator
   in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
   and the years approach when you will say,
   “I find no pleasure in them”— Ecclesiastes 12:1

Relatively speaking I am young. Sure I’m no longer the know-it-all knucklehead that I was in high school who was only concerned with basketball and being somewhat cool. But I am also far from the twilight of my life. God willing, I have many more years to live than I have already spent on this earth.

This is why the passage above really hit me when I read it. I am young and therefore I should enjoy life and let my heart give me joy in the days of my youth. This is a time to explore, spread my wings and fly into the far reaches of this world that my heart desires to go, experience all that the world has to offer, to live out my dreams. But the passage also suggests that I do this with God in mind.

And this makes sense to me. If I remember that God is with me with each step that I take then perhaps those steps will be easier. I will know that I have someone to lean on when the going gets tough. When life makes me limp, I’ll know that I have someone to lean on for support; and even better, carry me when I feel that I can no longer move forward.

Two years ago I got a fix it ticket for the tint on the side windows of my car so I had to go to the tint shop to get it removed. When I was there I met an older Jewish fellow who was getting tint put on his vehicle. I had my Bible with me while I was waiting so he struck up a conversation about religion and faith. He had been studying Kabbalah for several years and was amazed by what he has been learning on his recent spiritual journey. He said that he was surprised and encouraged that I was on a similar journey at such a young age. He wished he had started sooner.

That struck me as strange because I felt like I was behind. I was just coming back from being away from it for several years. Plus this was a very successful man. I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was still searching for purpose in nearly every way. When I told him this he said that it was good that I was doing the spiritual search first; that way I will learn what I need to learn in order to make the best decisions in those other aspects of my life going into the future.

It’s interesting. I’ve heard similar things from other elders. It’s never too early to search for meaning, to seek out one’s place in the world in terms of what we believe. Often times we wander about aimlessly because we have no rudder. We are just pieces of wood drifting along ocean currents determined by others.

Yes we should enjoy our youth (I need to do more of this to be honest) but that enjoyment does not have to negate a meaningful search for self. The better you know your spirit, your strengths and weaknesses, and the foundation of your faith then the better equipped you will be to fully enjoy your time on this earth. The joy and happiness will have purpose; it will contribute to your life rather than possibly setting it back.

It may be a lonely journey at a young age; seeking God, discovering the truth at the foundation of your life, but Ecclesiastes and the old heads say it’s worthwhile and wise.

I believe them.

What I have discovered so far is this:

Love God and pursue a relationship with him.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Live in the present.
Search your heart and spirit for your purpose and chase after it with all that you have.
Do not live in fear.
Enjoy the things that don’t last beyond the present: Your work, good food and good times with good people.
In the end everything else is meaningless, “a chasing after the wind”.


  1. Hello Man of God, I just wanted to encourage you to keep on keeping on. God loves you so much and has such great plans for you.

    Although these times are not as you would prefer, but God has heard your prayers and knows your heart. The very best is yet to come.

    Perception is "key". It all depends on how you see things that will determine how you pursue, or not pursue. In other words, if you've asked God for something and believed, then know you have the petitions you have asked for.

    Keep pursuing God's best and know that He's already sent the answer to you.

    Love you Much


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