Is There Meaning To Life?

People of the Story:

People love stories.  There is something inside us that wants to hear the rest of “Once upon a time there was a….”

Yes, we have novels and storytellers.  But let us consider that songs are stories set to music and with our dollars we vote for those who sing and play favorite stories the best. Art is a visual story, some priceless.  Poems are stories in special timing of word and thought.  Photographs are stories of a slice in time. Movies are stories which combine the visual, words, acting, and music.  Comedy is a story with a funny twist.  A tragedy is a story with a tragic twist. News is the story of now.  The weather news for many is a story of their emotions and actions for the immediate future. Porn tells an unobtainable story.  The Bible tells an obtainable story.  

We never tire of the stories we love.  Parents who tire of reading the same story to their kids forget that the movies and books they love are the same as the kid’s stories, just dressed in older clothes.  Literature teachers tell us that in reality there are only a very few stories—these are simply combined and changed with different characters and settings. 

The stories that grip us are transcendent, they connect to what is bigger than we are, whether in word, deed, action, or art.  We connect to an idea, morality, sacrifice, feeling, humor, sadness, or beauty greater than what we have. Being transcendent, no one can really own what we hunger for—for it is beyond us.  Oh, someone might think they own the transcendent story in their piece of art, but its true value is that it reveals something more than canvas, frame, and colors.

Some say that stories are so central to life that stories in themselves are what everything is about. To these people, true or false isn’t in the equation—it is just the power of “story” that counts.  They speak of the power of “myth”, not truth. This is post-modern thought, the embracing of relativism at its worst--for it stops us from looking for the best story. The problem with relativism is that deep down everyone knows that it only works in the classroom.  If your boss gives you Monopoly money for cash, because to him it is real—you still want the real thing. Try paying your tuition with Monopoly money and see what your school says about relativism about money.

Remember Napoleon Dynamite?

Response was polarized. “I like it!”  “Stupid!” And you, reader, had your opinion if you watched it.  Regardless, it left many with the question, “How can you have a good movie with no real story line?”  

Napoleon Dynamite reflects the story of a generation who have been taught there is no meaning to life—no Creator to whom you answer, no Story that is true.  It reflected the view that randomness is as valid as a story line.  But there is certainly a story implied.  It is the story of a generation sick of relativism who seeks what is real.  (Please, let’s skip all the debates about the essence of reality.  If that is your point, ask for Monopoly money for your next paycheck.) Consider that repeated throughout the movie is the tension between the authentic and the inauthentic—the real and those who are just “players”.  The movie hits it hard with going from Uncle Rico’s plastic bowls, breast enlargement fliers, and Kip’s bling, to the ragged but real friendship of Napoleon, Pedro, and Deb.  Who can’t laugh at “Rex Kwon Do!”?  We want to “Vote for Pedro”!

Meaning in life is found in...

...finding the transcendent story, one which is true, authentic, and genuine.  It is about finding how one’s life fits into the Big Story.  And though it is offensive and exclusive to say this in our present culture of relativism—the Bible is that Story, and it is the only book like it.   

Whatever your bias, whatever you have heard, you will find that the themes of the Bible are the stories we love to hear over and over. No wonder we are drawn to these stories again and again—they were put in our heart by God himself. 

Consider that the word “God”... from the Old English “good”, for that is his nature.  With all respect and honor, we could say that he is the Ultimate “Good Guy”.  The ultimate bad guy (Lucifer—good angel turned bad) seeks to ruin the Good Guy’s creation/invention.  The Hero  (Jesus, God’s Son) left his glorious kingdom to rescue his enslaved future Bride (all who turn to him in faith) because he loves her.  He, by amazing sacrifice pays a price to pay her debt and win her love.  (Jesus’ death on a cross.)  Then the Hero leaves to prepare a place for his Bride and will return for her one day—but she does not know when.  Meanwhile we (the Bride) must endure and remain faithful while waiting for our Rescuer, Jesus.  When he comes he will “wipe away every tear” and we will be with him forevermore. 

True story?  It is validated by one of the most documented facts of history: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.   

The greatest story is the story of the Bible. It is a book unlike any other, and we invite you to discover it with us.

Click here for the "Incomparable Jesus"

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  Ellsworth Assembly of God ~ 131 Beechland Road ~ Ellsworth, ME 04605 ~ 207-667-8998