This is the seventh episode in a series I am calling The Bible Mountain Parables. In this series, we are addressing some of the most basic and fundamental questions that we as human beings should answer. In today’s episode we will discuss meaning.
First episode: How do we know if God exists?
Second episode: How can I believe in a God whom I haven’t seen?
Third episode: Are we as powerful as we think we are?
Fourth episode: Should we be afraid of God?
Fifth episode: Does God have the right to tell us what to do?
Sixth episode: What happens when we die?
(Scroll down below the video if you prefer to read a transcript.)
Thanks for watching this episode of Bible Mountain dotcom. This is the last episode in a series I am calling The Bible Mountain Parables. In the first episode, we concluded that when we observe the world we live in, the logical, intelligent conclusion is that there is a living, intelligent being out there somewhere who created the universe and everything in it, including us. In the second episode, we concluded that just as there are historical documents that testify to the existence of people like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, so too there are historical documents that testify to the existence of God. In the third episode we concluded that when we observe the world we live in, the logical, intelligent conclusion is that God is by far the most powerful force in the universe and that there is nothing in the universe that can stop God from doing anything He wants to do. In the fourth episode we concluded that just as we need to know when to fear electricity, wild animals, and storms so that we know how to be safe, so too we need to know when to fear God because He is much more powerful than any other force in the universe. In the fifth episode we concluded that since God created all things, He has the authority to tell us what to do, and since He is the most powerful force in the universe, He has the ability to enforce His authority. And in the sixth episode we concluded that there is life after death and that if we acknowledge God’s existence and authority and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, then we will spend eternity in heaven with God. Today we will discuss meaning. Is life worth living? I am using parables throughout this series to discuss these topics, so let’s get started with today’s first parable:
Once upon a time a meteor came streaking through the night sky and landed right in the middle of the East square. The next day, all the motorists driving through the square were agitated because they had to drive around this big obstacle. On the same night, three cousins were killed by a drunk driver in the middle of the West square. Their grieving grandfather put a big rock at the spot of the incident to memorialize them, and even though everyone had to drive around this rock, no one minded because they knew who put the rock there and why.
The meteor that landed in the East square had no meaning and was an annoying obstacle because it arrived there by chance and it had no reason for being there. However, the rock in the middle of the West square was very meaningful because it was placed there by a person as a memorial. Let’s apply this to creation and evolution. If evolution is true, then that means people came into existence by chance and without purpose; therefore, our existence is an accident and has no meaning. However, if we were created by God, then we were placed here by an intelligent being and there is a reason for our existence and our lives have meaning. Now let’s look at a second parable:
Once upon a time two brothers signed up for a jog-a-thon fundraiser. The goal was to run as many miles as they could in 4 hours. The older brother trained for weeks ahead of time and on the day of the event he managed to run 27 miles in less than 4 hours. The younger brother did not train ahead of time, and at the event he was only able to run half a mile. At the end of the jog-a-thon the older brother had a sense of accomplishment because he had worked hard and achieved something very few people can achieve: he ran a marathon. On the other hand, the younger brother felt like the jog-a-thon was a waste because he had not achieved anything: anyone can run half a mile.
Just as the older brother felt fulfilled at the end of the day because his training enabled him to run a marathon, so too our existence has meaning and is fulfilling if we put forth effort to achieve something difficult. And just as the younger brother felt he had wasted a day because it doesn’t require much effort to run half a mile, so too our lives will be unfulfilling if we always choose the easy way. And now let’s look at a third parable:
Once upon a time, two neighbors decided to build sheds in their backyards. The first neighbor used top quality materials and put a lot of time, effort, and care into building his shed. The second neighbor used cheap, flimsy materials and slapped his shed together as fast as he could. That night, a violent storm came through and destroyed the flimsy shed, but the solid shed survived with no damage. The next morning the second neighbor looked out, noticed his shed was gone, and realized the time and effort he had spent building his shed was wasted. Meanwhile, the first neighbor was very satisfied with his work because he had proof his shed would last a long time.
Just as the first neighbor was satisfied with his work because he built something that will last, so too our lives have meaning if we accomplish something that has long term value. And just as the second neighbor realized his efforts to build a shed were a waste, so too our lives will be a waste if all our accomplishments only have short term value.
So what is the conclusion from this?
Life has meaning if we know why we exist, if we achieve things that take effort, and if we achieve things that have long term value. The reason people exist is because God created us; therefore, life has meaning if we acknowledge and submit to the authority that is inherent in God’s position as the Creator. Serving God is not easy and it is not the popular thing to do; but the difficulty of obedience means it is rewarding and fulfilling to serve and obey God. As far as long term value, the ultimate long term value is eternal value, and serving and obeying God is the only way to achieve a reward that has value beyond life here on earth.
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