Think Of The Homeless

There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Reviews by Hubie Goode: What Gives Meaning To Life?

What Gives Meaning To Life?

There was a famous holy man who once wrote about an experience he had:

He was sitting on a beach one bright and beautiful summer day, watching a little boy and girl play in the sand. They were hard at work making an elaborate sand castle. It had gates and towers and moats and such. Just as they had finished the marvel of industrial ingenuity, a large wave came along and knocked it down turning it into a heap of wet sand. He fully expected that the children would scream and cry at the devastation, but instead, they ran up the shore away from the water, laughing and holding hands, and began to build another castle. What an important lesson that was! All those things in our lives, all the complicated structures we spend so much time and energy creating are really built on sand. Only our relationships to one another endure. Sooner or later, the wave will come along and knock down what we have worked so hard to build up. When that happens, only the person who has someone’s hand to hold will be able to laugh.

I remember when I was younger, not necessarily when I was young, coming to the realization that life was not going to unfold like a Disney movie. I chuckle a bit at the resolution of TV shows like The Andy Griffith Show, that today are touchingly quaint and quite out of schism with the world we know today. But mostly, one can see how, if you look back at history, they were also a little out of touch with their own times. The paradigm being, that if you just work hard, were sincere, and didn’t do anything foolish, everything would work out the way you wanted it to.

Conversely, many things do not work out as we would like them, no matter how hard we work, no matter how honest we are, no matter how much we do for our fellow man. (and you ARE doing for your fellow man, right?)

Most of us in our lives have either believed we could or perhaps have valiantly tried to extract what we want from life. We crave for meaning, we demand purpose and we long for something to stay fulfilling and satisfying for the whole of our lives. But life has it’s own ideas. It tends to stare back at us with blank, uncaring eyes and deeply implies the inexorable finality of it’s own indomitable position in reality.

What do we want from life that it seems to have promised but has also seemed to have ignored with it’s own non-proffered ability? We thought we’d get meaning, purpose and love. We thought that we could succeed, that we would matter and perhaps make a difference. And that someone somewhere would care.

If you look again at the ruins of ancient Rome, a once gloriously painted city of stone and mortar, filled with a teaming populace that cared for and enjoyed it’s heightened civilization; you realize that if the buildings could speak, they would cry and wish for oblivion. Time moved on without them. Their people, their creators no longer walk their roads and tread down their halls. It’s a good thing for them they ARE just stone and brick and cement, for what soul could live with such long term abandonment?

But what if things are different for us? What if things are just beginning when we come to the place where we realize that if we had not lived as long as we have, or if we had perhaps not be born, that the world would have gone on without us? What if it’s a privileged to come to the end of our questions and have no answers?

When you reach a critical juncture in your life, that point where failure and hopelessness seem inevitable. We must seize the day! We must grasp the moment! Kick and spit and growl all you want, but when you come to the end of yourself, all you have left is the reality of God. And there is the place where you will find the deepest answers, no matter how much you want to live in denial, no matter how much you want it to be something else, something that makes YOU feel good or promotes the pride of life and mankind as a force to be celebrated. If it were not so, then your inner soul would be satisfied with those things, you would have found an answer there instead of a million different offerings provided from the world for the world. I once asked an adult, when I was a teen, what life was all about. And they told me it’s different for different people... no it’s not, that’s just their programming speaking, not a reality.

One of the promises of God is that even the most evil of persons can be saved from and eternity without him if they will only call on the name of Jesus. Even if that person is on his deathbed, having not done anything worthy himself. But unfortunately, our pride and dependence on cursed flesh guides us to take a multitude of answers that are NOT Jesus, down blind alleys that twinkle in front of our eyes like a Christmas ornament in front of a kitten or car keys in front of a baby, and we like it, and we reach out for it. And we fail to find those answers we long for.

It wasn’t all that long ago, that a favorite singer of mine committed suicide. He gassed himself to death and left behind a note to his fiance’ explaining his actions. In the note he told of how much of a lonely soul he was. The implication here is that he, like us all, was seeking an answer to his unhappiness, a cure if you will, for his depression. Well, we all seek happiness, and it is the motivation for practically everything we do, whether it is giving to a telethon or helping the homeless on the street; or perhaps it is other activities not so honorable. Whatever the case, churches and happy hours are full of people looking for happiness.

There is something we absolutely have to get past. Something we have to force ourselves to accept or else we will never find that happiness to fill that void that sits in the pit of our being calling out to be filled. Basically, it’s NOT our universe. Not OUR reality. And that is the answer. That is why it’s actually a great thing to come to the end of your rope. Until we do, we will be looking about a maze of offerings from the world that all lead to other answers and other answers and other answers. We were meant for God. We were created for God. And not just God, but Jesus Christ. I know for many, you can take the idea of God, but you scoff at the notion of Jesus, and that in itself, is proof of your separation form him. For if it didn’t bother you, then you could take his name and position just as easily as God. But God, for many, can be whatever they want. You can’t do that with Jesus, and this is some proof people, for God says you are separated from him, and he and Jesus are one.

3,000 years ago King Solomon wrote that he had tried everything. He was surrounded by wealth, treasure, pleasure, accomplishment, relationships, loved by man and had over a thousand wives and concubines, all the trappings of fame, and yet he did not find satisfaction. He was a winner to a far greater degree than any of us have time, talent and money to succeed and he said it was like trying to catch the wind. Just ask Michael Jackson. Just ask Rodney Dangerfield, a man who made many laugh over forty or so years with his self deprecating humor. He owned a house in California and a club in New York. He could treat the whole country as his home, he could fly anywhere and knew scores and scores of people, as could Michael Jackson. But Rodney was quoted as saying before he died, that he never really was happy. I think you know good and well Michael Jackson’s position.

Some say poverty is the reason for crime, yet there are poor people who are never criminals. Also, there are rich people who ARE criminals, and those who are not. It’s not enough to be talented and wealthy, or to just be poor so as not to get into trouble; for there are many troublesome things that can come your way if you DO have money and power. We find ourselves unhappy and we look for a fulfillment, a filling of the void, but we just can’t bring ourselves to bow our knee and let God, Jesus, be the Lord of our lives... for surely you will not be fulfilled. Surely you will not finally find that void filled.

And who told you that? Who told you you were naked?

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