The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

Jan 23, 2013

The Meaning of Life

by Torie Flinton, Grand Rapids, Mich.


For many, there comes a time when a subtle feeling of meaninglessness can creep into their thoughts; a time where one’s purpose is lost in the confusion of a cruel world.

I must admit that I’ve “been there” before. I took a step back to get a better look and found that I didn’t like what I had seen. There are so many questions that run through my head daily that I wish God would answer. “What is the meaning of life?”, or as Hamlet stated, “To be or not to be: that is the question.”


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This comes up in conversation as a joking phrase, but have you seriously contemplated the implications? Have you looked in the eyes of an unsaved friend who is truly the kindest person you’ve ever known, knowing that if she refuses to profess the name of Christ, her soul will rest in Hell? Then there’s you—whose mind is tainted, whose thoughts are spotted with perversion and judgment, who cuts down the defenseless. You proclaim Jesus in your heart, so you’ll rest in Heaven.

People are killed every day, thrown into prison in other countries for possessing a small portion of the bible, but I, the “good American Christian,” might not be a proper representative of the love that Christ had put in my heart.

Some see life as a sinful disaster. “No one wants me; they’d be better off without me; I’d rather be in Hell.” The devil is a constant voice etched in the periphery of their thoughts.

At one point, for me it all seemed inescapable. I even hated God for a while. It got to the point where I found myself screaming at the top of my lungs in the pouring rain asking why the world was such a cold, dark place filled with deceit and pain. I pleaded to God for an answer.

The answer to my question was that we need to see the product of sin in our lives to fully grasp the concept of grace. I had every right to hate myself. I was an “awful” person. My unsatisfied want for love had turned into bitterness. Why did it take me falling to my knees for me to find the missing piece?

I was once told that you don’t know the use of an umbrella unless you’ve taken a walk in the rain. I learned that I couldn’t make myself better.

I had to pray good and hard, and did things grow better? Yes, but better doesn’t always mean good. I came to realize that I wasn’t as near to God as I aspired to be.

At Conference in 2011 some of the young people were discussing what Christ-less youth were doing (for example drinking, gang violence, etc.). And then Brooke North said something that just pulled it all together: “What would we be doing right now if we didn’t know Jesus?” There would always be an emptiness; meaninglessness.

I read this passage from the book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: “If I have a hope, it’s that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, ‘Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it all means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you.’ ” –Donald Miller.

What is the meaning of life? I’m not sure, but what I do know is that I matter. I am a fingerprint. I leave my mark everywhere I go.

I want to love and live out my story with integrity knowing that I am a slave to righteousness, and not to my own earthly desires (Rom 6:16). That is where I am in my life.

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