I look at the world and people around me and wonder how people do it, go through day after day without thinking of or believing in God, without having a relationship with God. What do they do when the inevitable crisis comes? Who do they lean on?
If you look at the statistics less than forty per cent of Americans go to church each week. For many the service might consume one hour of the week. Worse yet many don’t put in the full hour. Some come late. Others leave early. Others are there to please other people and go through the motions rather than put their hearts into it. Others serve as ushers and therefore are distracted during worship.
Many, once they leave the church, may not think of God or pray again until the next Sunday. I know people who think one hour a week is enough time to give God, one hour of one hundred and sixty-eight hours. What would their spouse feel if they were only given an hour a week, a half-hearted hour at that? Would they even still have a spouse?
Then there are those who don’t even go to church at all. Granted there are some Christians who do worship at home because of commitments but these are a minority. Many people spend their Sundays at sporting events, the mall, and movies, on the golf course or in bed. You have to wonder what they worship.
Judging from some of the political criticism an awful lot of people are living without God, at least the God we know and worship.
If you live without God, how do you fill your life? On what is your life based? Is it built on the endless pursuit of wealth, accumulating more and more things? What happens when the economy crashes?
What kind of life is it when you go to work every day and work at a job whose main purpose is to make a profit, where everything is concerned with the bottom line? What kind of life is it when you go home exhausted everyday and crash in front of the television and watch really empty TV shows or sports night after night or go out drinking?
Is that what life is about, an endless round of work, go home and crash where you live for the weekend? Then your weekend ends up full of errands you didn’t have time for during the week, laundry, groceries, the yard, the car or the house. If you’re lucky you might have time to do something you consider fun. Then you go back to work and do it over and over again.
I think it is difficult even when you have a job that you consider meaningful when you do something you like and perform a service to others like medicine, teaching, civil service, fire and police work. As meaningful as these jobs are often we feel in a rut. We keep doing the same thing over and over and it wears us down. The job consumes us. We burn out. We feel empty.
Is that all there is? We go to work, come home and crash then get up the next morning and do it all over again. Is that all there is to life? Do these things over and over until we retire? Live for vacations and weekends? Spend our time and money buying things to fill the emptiness or obsessing over some sports team, politician or celebrity?
There has to be more than this, more than working and going home to crash until we retire and fill the emptiness with things, hobbies or TV. There has to be more than just going through the motions, work, eat, crash, sleep, eat, work, eat, crash and long for vacation, the weekend or retirement. Then find a new pattern in retirement until we die.
We were created for more than this. The purpose of life isn’t to work until we die. We were created for a relationship with God through His Son Jesus. God wants our friendship. We are called to know and love God intimately. God wants an intimate relationship with us. He wants us to open up and share everything with Him, all our joys, the frustrations and problems at work, our hopes and our dreams. He wants to guide our lives so that we have lives of meaning rather than the emptiness we face. He wants to guide and support us through the inevitable crisis and provide what we need. He wants to be the center of our lives, lives that will be far better than they are now. He wants to pour His love on us so that we can bring His love to others.
We were created to serve God not corporations. We were created to bring his love to the world even those we work with. This is our purpose to love and serve our loving God. This is the only way we can fill the emptiness we feel inside and bring meaning to our lives. This is what life is all about and we’ll never be really happy until we do this.
Lord, I am tired of the running around, chasing pipe dreams that don’t satisfy. I am tired of the emptiness of modern life. Fill me with your life, give my life meaning and help me to love and serve You. Amen