Where is the Meaning?

Somehow, I suspect I am not the only one who has ever wondered about a purpose in life. The refrain from a song of the past came to me as I was thinking about this article:  “Is that all there is?”

Sadly, too many of us wander through life undirected, accomplishing so much less than would be possible had we figured it out sooner.

A recent sermon at church nudged my thinking on this topic. The sermon revolved around finding meaning in life through devotion to God. Now, I struggle with feelings that my faith is not deep enough, and I often feel as though I’ve done little to feel worthy of His love and care. That being said, my life has been blessed with much good. I still don’t know why.

As I reflected, I decided that I think there is a difference between “eventful” moments in life and “meaningful” ones. I can count many more events that have taken place over the years – graduations, weddings, trips, achievements – than I can meaningful moments. Meaningful moments, for me, are times when I was overwhelmed by some emotional or spiritual experience. As I pondered this longer, I realized that each of those meaningful moments involved some aspect of being touched.  They may have occurred when physical comfort was either given or received, or happened at moments where a profound emotional experience had taken place or was shared. I have also reflected in awe upon certain sequences of events that would seem extraordinarily unlikely to have occurred together.

Moments where I have been touched by touching another, or by having someone else reach out to me are incredibly precious. I think herein lies meaning for me. It is vital to reach out to others, and we need to receive those who reach out to us…for in doing so, I believe we – quite literally – reach out and touch the hand of God.

Where is the meaning in your life?


I’ve decided that it takes a strong person to commit – to anything!

I’m weak. I cave in too easily. I say I’m going to do something, and then I waver. I make the same New Year’s resolutions year after year, usually receiving the same results.

To the person who resolves to have a particular career, regardless of the uncertainty of it or of the effort it will take to be a success, I tip my hat. I have respect for the business owner who relentlessly bookkeeps, markets, and generally keeps his nose to the grindstone so that his business might flourish.

My greatest admiration, however, goes to the new Christian. What faith it must take to profess your beliefs publicly, and to remain strong in the Lord!

I keep praying for greater, stronger faith. I keep praying to feel truly committed – to some kind of direction for my life, and to God. Have you heard the expression “Jill of all trades, master of none?” I am she. Sadly, I do not feel committed to, or in control of, anything in my life.

I yearn for the faith and steadfastness of the early Christians. I long to be passionate – about something. Why is it so difficult to stand for anything? I long for the strength to be strong.

“Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3)

I’m hoping…and praying…that that will be a start.

A Prayer for Strength and Courage

Life is a never-ending series of beginnings and endings. It seems as though we’re always starting over. We’re born…we learn…we try…we fail…we start over…we do better…we change our minds…we start anew. One of my friends is about to begin a brand new job. Another is closing a chapter of her life, retrieving mementos, and putting a family home up for sale.

Each new challenge requires courage – courage to let go, and courage to start again. I don’t let go easily. I hold on until I have to let go. But it is just as difficult to start fresh. The new, the unknown, is always scary. What if…? What if it doesn’t work out? What if you can’t do it? What if you don’t like it? But here, I’m referring to material things.

And what about spiritual things? I think they require even more courage! For me, at least, it is difficult to quiet myself for very long. God, can You hear me? Some days are too filled with busyness – work, errands, chores – to even think about taking time to reflect. Those are the days I feel caught in a maelstrom of noise, emptiness, and terror.

Today I am seeking courage to receive spiritual guidance. Today I need strength to face my fears and to move forward. There’s that comfort zone again…the one where I stay frozen in place and accomplish nothing because I am afraid.

Growing and moving forward with life in any way requires strength. Today I am praying to learn how to be strong. I have some great role models. I just need to get out of my self-absorbed comfort zone. Lord, quiet the noise….

Gut Reactions and Belief Systems

I am firmly convinced that people come into our lives for a reason. Sometimes, though, the challenge is in figuring out just what that reason could be.

I know a girl who comes from a fairly dysfunctional family. She is neither a stranger to drugs, nor to “life on the street.” But I like her. I think she has a good heart.

I haven’t known her for long, but I think she is really trying to turn her life around. Unfortunately, she trusts too easily and people take advantage of her. She cannot seem to remove herself enough from her surroundings, and she keeps falling back into situations that make her life worse.

To meet her, she is kind of rough around the edges. She means well and she cares a lot, and she wants desperately to have somebody care for her. But she seems to have difficulty setting boundaries. She’s pretty fearless, though, and has a great deal of determination…and I admire that.

Recently, someone she was trying to help turned against her – again. Now, again, she is seeing herself as a loser. Of course, that is what she’s been told throughout her life. I think she needs a leg up. I think she needs to know that somebody cares about her. She needs a miracle in her life.

There is something about her that draws me to her. I go back to my original statement. I believe she has come into my life for a reason. I just don’t know what it is. It is a very strong feeling that I need to learn something from knowing her. So, what do I do? What can I do? I don’t know her well enough to be certain of her personality. I only know my impressions. I want to help, but I also don’t want to be used.

A friend recently published this quote:  “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins” (NIV) James 4:17. Should I offer her money? Do I offer her a place to stay? Or do I only offer prayers? I can see potential problems with a material offering. I know she could perceive me as an easy mark and then try to “hit” on me in the future. And yet…in my heart, I believe she needs someone to have faith in her. While prayer can be a powerful thing (and it may be my weakness of faith that, in my mind, says that only prayer is not enough), I believe she needs something more. Doesn’t Christianity mean giving selflessly? But what about the ramifications of reality? Will helping her put me, or those I care about, at risk from those who want to harm her?

Still, I cannot shake the feeling that she needs someone to believe in her…someone who considers her worthwhile. I see her as someone with a good heart who is trying to change her life. I see her as a good and valuable person. I believe God sees her as valuable as well. I’m trying to find the balance between being a friend, being Christian, and being realistic. I also need to find out why I believe I need to learn something here.

What would YOU do in these circumstances, and why?