How to Have a Full and Meaningful Life
By Warren Mueller
Has your life become dull, boring and routine? This devotional by Warren Mueller will help you discover the key to living a full and meaningful life.
A Full and Meaningful Life
Life is full of routines like sleeping, eating and working with occasional landmarks such as marriage, birth and death. Seasons and years come and go. Even special events like vacations and holidays can become repetitious, less exciting and meaningful as we grow older. So how can we live a full and meaningful life?
Three Common Approaches
There are three common approaches that consume most of the time, talents and energy of our waking hours. One approach is the pursuit of material things. Americans are in love with having a modern home, late model cars, lots of clothes, a wide variety of food and as many new electronic gadgets as possible.
The desire for more and better things has resulted in a throw-away society where new is better, savings are low and debt is high. The cost and quantity of things that are accumulated measure success.
The Pursuit of Things
There are two problems with the pursuit of things. First, possessions tend to possess the possessor. The more you have the more there is to take care of and worry about. I think about this whenever I cut and fertilize the lawn, wash the cars and keep the house clean. Things break down and this is a continuing source of headaches and frustration. Secondly, things and wealth that are accumulated are left behind when death occurs. Therefore, others benefit from the hard work to accumulate things. This can be good or bad depending on whether the inheritors are appreciative and wise in using the wealth passed to them. The bottom line is that man enters this world with nothing and takes nothing out of it so it is not true that the one who dies with the most things wins.
The Pursuit of Pleasure
The second popular philosophy of life is the pursuit of pleasures to experience life to the fullest. These people have a lifestyle of traveling, multiple sexual partners, drugs, new restaurants and entertainment forms (e.g., TVs, CDs, and VCRs), seeking excitement and pleasures that are fleeting. There is no lasting satisfaction in this approach and it leads to frustration. Most people do not have enough time or money to experience all the possible places, people, food, things, etc., that can be enjoyed. Indeed, even if it were possible to have unlimited wealth, there would always be places and things beyond our experience due to the limits of the human life span.
A full life cannot be measured by the quantity but rather by the quality of one's relationships with others and with God.
The Apostle Paul, after having been beaten, ship-wrecked and thrown into prison, wrote that he had lived a full life and was content in whatever situation he found himself (Philippians 4:11-12). Paul said that as long as he had Jesus, he could do anything through the strength of God's presence and power (Philippians 4:13).
Leaving a Legacy
A third popular pursuit is to leave a legacy. Living for family, fame or fortune may be noble, but it is ultimately futile. Family members and human relationships seldom turn out the way we like. Fame and fortune dwindle over time, and facts are frequently altered to meet political, cultural or religious objectives. King Solomon of the Bible was a person who had vast wealth, time and wisdom. He tried all of life's pursuits but, in the end, found them all to be meaningless vanity and chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 1:13-14). He concluded that the best that man could hope for was to find satisfaction in work, do good and fear God (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13; 12:13).
This is the best that man can hope for without a saving relationship with Jesus who said that abundant and meaningful life comes from knowing him as personal savior (John 10:9-10).