As a young man in college, I wondered what my purpose in life was. I remember sitting cross-legged under a tree, determined to figure it out. When that failed, I went to the beach. Maybe the fresh ocean air or walking barefoot in wet sand would speak to my heart.
Where was fulfillment to be found? Was it in studying and learning? Was it in partying? Was it the combination of working hard and playing hard? Was it to be found in intoxication, bringing my body and mind under the influence of a fluid or some other substance? Was it to be found in athletics, in conditioning my body to be the best it could be? Was it to be found in career? Or sex? Or marriage? Or children? Or the emotional highs of exquisite entertainment in music or theater? Or acquiring money and the finer things of life? Or in creative activities such as art, music, or design?
Young King Solomon had the same problem. He faced an inner spiritual emptiness that made him think life was without meaning. He tried filling that void with comedy and laughter, food and the best wine, and unlimited sex with seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. He designed and constructed great palaces. He laid out vineyards, farms, and irrigation systems with pools. He had servants, possessions, artistic treasures of gold and silver, the best singers and musicians. Yet none of these fulfilled him for long. (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2:14)
In your life, too, you’ve probably encountered that empty feeling. Perhaps you’ve noticed that the satisfaction from bodily pleasures is short-lived. Even the pleasures of the soul, of the mind, will, and emotions, such as intellectual understanding, art and creativity, construction, achievement, and honors fade with time. Perhaps you’ve thought there has to be more to life than this.
There is. What is truly fulfilling are the joys rooted in our spirits, the mysterious part of our being that is supposed to be connected to God. Like Solomon, I remained unfulfilled by activities of body and soul as long as I ignored my heavenly Father.
But when my spirit became connected to God through faith in Christ, I began to experience true fulfillment, satisfaction, and joy in the depths of my heart. The everyday things of life took on new meaning. I was no longer a spiritual orphan, striving to figure things out on my own. Now I was living in partnership with God, who was helping me discover my own true purpose in life.
QUESTION: What are the most fulfilling things in your life? Was there a difference in your sense of purpose and fulfillment before accepting Christ, and afterwards? (If you’ve never accepted Christ as Savior, click here.)