Summary: I used this lesson for our annual Friend Day.
A. Good morning and welcome to Friend Day.
1. I sincerely hope you are uplifted and challenged by what takes place among us today!
2. If you are visiting with us today, we hope that you will come again – you are always welcome.
B. Let’s start with some cartoons about the discovering life’s meaning.
C. So what is the meaning of life? It’s a great question, isn’t it.
1. Maybe you have an answer to that question that you are comfortable with.
2. Or maybe you might say, “I have no idea what the meaning of life is.”
D. Today I want to share with you what the Bible says about the meaning of life.
E. How many of you saw the movie called The Truman Show?
1. Jim Carrey plays the part of Truman Burbank.
2. Truman Burbank is a normal man, living in a normal town.
3. He grew up to be a desk clerk for a insurance company, living an ordinary life, having an ordinary wife, an ordinary neighbour and an ordinary best friend, who pops in from time to time with a sixpack.
4. Truman, however, is not happy with his life. He wants to see the world. He wants to get away from his happy, ever tidy, nice’n’shiny little island town at the seaside.
5. However, what he doesn’t know is that his life is actually the focus of a reality TV show aired since his birth.
6. He doesn’t know that he’s the star, his hometown is a giant television set, and everyone around him is an actor going by a script
7. He has no idea that he is exploited and that his whole life is a lie.
8. That is until one day he discovers the truth and he breaks free from the deception.
F. What I would like to suggest today is that many people go through life just like Truman.
1. They live a life based on a lie and don’t even know it.
2. They are lulled into a happy stupor that blinds them from the real meaning of life.
3. Their goals in life are ultimately pointless and meaning less.
G. Take for instance a man named Dan Freeman, he is a retired computer consultant from Brooklyn.
1. Do you know what the main goal of his life in was in 2005?
2. He decided that his goal for the year would be to have a drink at 1,000 different bars in a year.
3. Why 1,000 bars, you might ask? Freeman explained, “There wasn’t any grand scheme, I just wanted to see how many bars you could hit in a year, and 1,000 seemed reasonable.”
4. He aimed to make 4 or 5 bars a day.
5. Dan Freeman said, “If you don’t have a dream, how can you make a dream come true?”
6. Some kind of dream, huh?
7. Freeman said, “I knew that my goal wasn’t on par with climbing Mount Everest, but it wasn’t going to be easy either. Drinking a thousand drinks in one bar over the course of a year is a piece of cake; lots of people do that. Having a drink in a thousand different bars is something different altogether. It would require planning and discipline.
I made some early mistakes. For a while I tried entering blog posts after I got home from the bars, but that was a disaster. Instead I settled into a daily routine of posting my blog entry about the bars I had visited the day before, then planning my next foray and heading out.”
8. Incidentally, he did accomplish his goal.
9. And when asked about his New Year’s resolution for 2006, he said “That’s easy. I can say without a doubt that a New Year’s resolution I’ll keep will be going to fewer bars next year.”
H. I believe that many people are looking for the meaning of life in all the wrong places.
1. Things like pleasure, possessions and power, just don’t satisfy.
2. Things like fame, fortune and fun end up just being empty.
3. Tennis star Boris Becker was at the very top of the tennis world—yet he was on the brink of suicide. He said, “I had won Wimbledon twice before, once as the youngest player. I was rich. I had all the material possessions I needed...It’s the old song of movie stars and pop stars who commit suicide. They have everything, and yet they are so unhappy. I had no inner peace. I was a puppet on a string.”
4. Becker is not the only one to feel that sense of emptiness. The echoes of a hollow life pervade our culture.
5. A person doesn’t have to read many contemporary biographies to find the same frustration and disappointment.