Mather’s observation speaks to the challenge of the masses who simply exist, instead of truly live. They follow the path of least resistance. They go through the motions. They are as my friend and preaching colleague, Gary Henry once wrote, “passive puppets who’re ‘being lived.’”
Of course, there are all kinds of opinions and philosophies about what life is about and what it means to really live life to its fullest.
Some live for pleasure. Others popularity. And still, others are pursuing position and social status. Regardless of the specific goal, so many people are only living for themselves. Seeking to gratify their selfish desires and fleshly appetites.
It’s acknowledged that some folks have a tough life. They may feel, as Thomas Fuller wrote that “We’re born crying, live complaining and die disappointed.” For them, life is a struggle. They may suffer physically, mentally, emotionally, financially or relationally. But whatever the battle, too many go through life lacking the purpose and faith to see beyond life’s problems.
It’s easy to focus on the negative and destructive in life, rather than the positive and productive. Like the famous author O’Henry some say, “life is made of sobs, sniffles, and smiles; with sniffles predominating.
Even more extreme and pessimistic is the attitude expressed by the late folk singer, Janis Joplin who once lamented, “Life is something you do, while waiting to die.” Pretty cynical and hopeless view of life, don’t you think?
There is a better way. Another approach. A higher and nobler aspiration and reason for living.
John’s gospel says in Jesus we have “life.” And that life in Christ is our guiding light (Jn 1:1-4). Life is a keyword in this book. 49 times in 37 verses John writes about all of which relate to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the bread of life. The water of life. The resurrection and the life. The source of an abundant life. The light of life. And the source of eternal and everlasting life.
Sadly, life in Christ is hidden from so many in the world today because as John observed, they walk in darkness. But sadder still are the many Christians who are failing to live the life they once began. Who’ve forgotten the blessings in Christ. Who’ve lost the joy of their salvation. Who’ve allowed Satan to blind their eyes to the Truth. And who’ve returned to the ways of the world.
The paradox of living for Jesus is that we can enjoy this life more fully when we’re ready to give it up for a better life. A richer life. A spiritual life. A life that sees beyond earth life for eternal life.
If you’re struggling with your spiritual life, let me encourage you to read the gospel of John. It will give you a renewed perspective. Diminish your doubts. And reaffirm your faith. John expresses his reason for writing this way:
“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
Life in the Son. That’s what it’s all about.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman