Summary: How to have purpose in Life
Building a Life of Purpose
Scripture reading (36)
Millions of people go through life without any real sense of why they are here and what they ought to be doing in life. It might surprise you to know that the wisest man who ever lived seems at times to have had just such a perspective on life. Listen to what he writes in Ecclesiastes chapter one.
... He said the life seems useless
"2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?" If there's no purpose to life, why not sleep in? Why not just let somebody else do it? If nothing really matters, why bother? Why make the effort. Life is useless if I don't see a purpose to it.
... He said that life seems tiresome
"4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing."
When you don't know that there's a purpose in life, life just seems like we're going in circles. It gives three examples -- there's the rotation of the earth, the sun goes up and down; there's the swirling of the wind; there's the cycle of rain and evaporation. It seems like an endless cycle. Just about the time you get the Christmas lights put away it's time to get them out again. We're on this treadmill.
Do you ever feel like you're on a treadmill? You're using a lot of energy, a lot of activity in your life, but there's no progress. The fact is, you can win the rat race but you're still a rat. If you don't have a purpose in life, life seems useless and life seems tiresome.
Business Week recently did a study to find out what is the number one answer when you ask people, "How you doing?" The number one answer today is, "I'm tired." This is the decade of fatigue.
... He said that life seems unfulfilling
"9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us."
When we don't see a point to something the fact is we get restless. When you don't see the point to something you get restless, antsy, you can't stay in your seat. You come late, leave early. We use the zapper on tv. The average human being will change channels with the zapper 325,000 in his/her life. (Some of you far, far more of that. That's an annual number for you!) But we get restless when we don't see a point to something. Life is useless, tiresome, unfulfilling.
... He said that life seems insignificant
" 11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after."
Fame is fleeting. You break a record, and your's is going to be broken next week. He's talking here about the surety of obscurity. Nobody's really going to remember you. We all want to be significant but it doesn't happen. Have you ever been to a class reunion? That's a humbling experience. All the heros are now zeros. They're all getting fat and going bald -- and those are the women! The guys...
Regardless of your accomplishments, you're going to be forgotten. If you went to college, my guess is that every building on your college campus had somebody's name on it. Did it make any difference to you? No. You couldn't care less. You never did any research to find out who those people were because the only people who care about having their name on a building are the people who give the big bucks to put their name on a building. Nobody else could care! The fact is, we don't remember. Life seems insignificant when you don't have a purpose.
... He said that life seems uncontrollable