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Rush Here, Rush There, Get No Place

2 comments | 2:18 am | top |
Today is the first day of 2009, and we are all one year older than we were on the first of January 2008. We are all one year closer to the day of our death.  We see ageing men putting on their sandals, board-shorts and screen-printed t-shirts from Hallensteins.  We see ageing women disfigured by layers of make-up, desperately trying to retain their youth.  It is now offensive to mention someone's age, as it only serves as a reminder of how much longer that person has left on this planet Earth.  In every direction we look, we see people running very busy lives.  There's so much to do: work, sport, celebrities, parties, charity, family, holidays.  In the words of Cliff Richard's song, "Funny thing the human race, Rush here, rush there, get no place."

King Solomon also saw the hopelessness of so many of the people around him.  In Ecclesiastes 1:1-4 , he writes,

"Vanity of vanities", says the Preacher; "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." What profit has a man from all his labour, in which he toils under the sun? One generation passes away, and another generation comes; But the earth abides forever"

Solomon uses the word vanity in the same way that we would use the word meaningless.  He is looking at life from through the eyes of someone who does not trust in God.  He mentions specifically the seeming futility of work - the same thing Jesus addresses when he tells the parable of the Rich Fool.  And indeed, without God, without absolute truth, everything is meaningless.  Taxi driver Jose Martinez had it sorted out in an interview with LIFE Magazine where he said,

"We're here to die, just live and die. I live driving a cab. I do some fishing, take my girl out, pay  taxes, do a little reading, then get ready to drop dead. You've got to be strong about it. Life is a big fake..."

The thing is, people are so desperate to block out the truth that they fill their lives with ultimately pointless things.  Whether it's the Cricket score from the weekend, or donating towards eye-operations for blind children in third-world countries, they will find something to keep them busy.  Robert Altman, director of the Oscar-winning film Gosford Park summed this up when he said,

"None of it - gambling, money, winning or losing - has any real value. It is simply a way of killing time, like crossword puzzles... I am sitting here today in this bleak atmosphere in the middle of winter, making a silly movie, and to me it is an adventure. I have no idea what it will be like. But even if it works it will be for nothing. If I had never lived, if the sperm that hit the egg had missed, it would have made no difference to anything."

The Preacher saying "everything is meaningless", God telling the Rich fool that his life would be required of him that very night, the taxi-driver speaking of "getting ready to drop dead", and Robert Altman talking about his life being inconsequential - they are all correct - but only in their frame of reference.  Because in Psalm 2, it talks about God sitting up in Heaven, laughing at the folly of the people down on His planet Earth who would stand against him.  Yes, without God, everything is meaningless and I'll just crawl into a corner and cut my wrists thank-you very much.  And without God, there is also no absolute right or wrong - and so you can't tell me that what I'm saying is correct, or a load of rubbish.

But God does exist.  Though we rebel against Him, He has mercifully opened the door for us to escape His wrath - by sending His Son to the world as a little baby, on Christmas day 2008 years ago.  Jesus was all God and all man, and throughout his entire life, he never sinned.  When he died on the cross (Easter), He was paying the price for all the sins of the people who would put their trust in Him as their Lord and Saviour.  That's all there is to it - there's no need to try and please God through good works - because compared with God's perfection, our good deeds are just filthy rags.  Of course, on the other hand that doesn't mean we don't do good works - just that our salvation is not based on our ability to please God.  What a relief!

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2 Comments:

Blogger The Editrix said...

Great post. I agree 100% with your statement that, without God, everything is meaningless. I know this truth in my heart, and yet it is so easy to lose sight of the real meaning of my life and get caught up in all the meaningless little nothings of life!

9:35 am, January 01, 2009 
Blogger Lydz said...

You're right there. It sure is easy to forget that unless we're living for God in everything we do, what we do is pointless. I so often catch myself thinking about how I should plan my life around my own happiness. Your post reminded me that that's not what the Christian life's about.. out first aim should be to give God glory, and that's where our greatest happiness will come from.
Thanks Andy :)

12:43 pm, January 01, 2009 

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