The Meaning of Life

by | Jun 11, 1997 | Attitude, Trials

Quite an ambitious title, don’t you think? It could even be presumptuous and arrogant. But I only want to propose one tiny — but very important — piece to the puzzle. Perhaps a few real-life cases can set the stage for sharing an insight.

Bullet Two women grow up in an environment of poverty and abuse. One gets an education, achieves several notable goals, and has a stable family; the other is angry, violent, and winds up spending a number of years in jail.

Bullet Two relatively young men have inoperable cancer and suffer terribly before their deaths. One dies cursing God for being so unfair as to let him get such a disease; the other spends his final weeks and days praising God for sustaining him through difficult times.

Bullet Two families have a crisis when hard economic times cause them to lose their house and life savings. One lives with such joy that nobody would guess how grim their plight is, and everyone comments on what a solid, loving relationship the two adults and three children have; the other breaks under the strain, and a spiteful divorce leaves two adults demoralized and three children adrift and troubled.

These are situations you have seen in your own lifetime. People come out of very similar backgrounds and circumstances, yet they come to very different ends. In the great mystery of life, how are we to explain that?

Perhaps the answer is this simple: Life is an attitude rather than a circumstance. Why have thousands of Christian martyrs gone to their deaths singing? How have people survived bankruptcy, the death of a child, or a permanent handicap from a car accident? They trusted God — refusing either to give up to their plight or to give in to self-pity.

Regardless of your circumstances as this week begins, you can choose the attitude with which you will face life. Part of the beauty of your experience is that no one can take away your freedom to choose how you will respond to it.

So say with confidence: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psa. 118:24).

Rubel Shelly The FAX of Life


The Meaning of Life