All of us are on a quest for a life of meaning, purpose and satisfaction. But let's be honest. That quest can be frustrating and even seem pointless at times. Or elusive! We chase after the holy grail of satisfaction but often come up far emptier than we want.
Jesus had a lot to say about life and a satisfying life. In Eugene Peterson’s translation, The Message, Jesus talks to the crowd about real bread. The Bread of God that gives life to the world. This conversation came on the heels of Jesus feeding thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fish.
That got the attention of the people so as the crowds followed Jesus wanting to see more of that kind of miraculous fast food event, He said to the crowd, “Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.” (John 6:27).
When they say, “Master, give us this bread, now and forever!” Jesus gives us this clue to the key to life satisfaction. “The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. (John 6:35). There we have the secret. As we align our life with His, we experience life in a new and fuller way that lasts and makes a real difference.
This goes beyond simply inviting Christ into our lives which is the first step of finding eternal life. A life of satisfaction and meaning comes progressively as we choose to align all parts of our life with His. For instance, why are people who are generous with God and others happier than those who are stingy with their resources? Very simply, they have chosen to align their lives with His and in practicing generosity they experience more of His blessing than those who keep it all for themselves.
I know many who claim to be Christ followers who are not happy or satisfied people. Some are downright ornery and unhappy. I suspect that much of the reason is that they have not chosen to align their lives with His except in a superficial way. There is a thief - the evil one who would like to steal our joy, passion and purpose and he is good at it if we let him. But Jesus said in John 10:10, "I came so that they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of." That is the life we want and it comes as we align our lives progressively more with His.
Every choice we make to align our lives with His teaching and example leads to a fuller life and one that is more satisfying. Ironically, it is when we align with Him and give up our own control and life satisfaction schemes that we find the good that nourishes our lives the most. As Jesus says in John 27, “He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.”
The life long pursuit of satisfaction and meaning can be found in one place: The life long pursuit of aligning our lives with His teaching and His example. It is that simple but simplicity is sometimes our nemesis. Here is my question today. Where does He want you to align your life more fully with His? Figure out how you can do that and you will experience greater meaning in your life. Stay in alignment with Him and you will experience life and life abundant.