Thursday, March 29, 2012

When Life Doesn't Make Sense

When my kids were learning addition and subtraction, I would tell them that 1+1=2, or 2-1=1, but they struggled to understand it at first. Then I would take out 2 marbles, and I would count each one as I pointed to it: one, two. Then I would take one away so that they could see how 2-1=1. I would then add one back so they could see that 1+1=2. Our minds are great at learning, but for some it takes time.

Each of us learns in different ways. I tend to learn best when I see it and experience it. When I first meet someone and they tell me their name, it is easy for me to forget it at first; especially if it is not a common name. However, if they spell it for me then I am more likely to remember it. Even more, I will add them to my prayer list and pray for them each day. The next time I see them it is easy for me to recall their name!

I have had many conversations with people who don’t think that life makes sense. Relationships are difficult, sin is rampant, life is hard, and it doesn’t seem to all be fair. They wake up and try to find reason for their life, but it just doesn’t make sense. I believe the reason for this is because they fail to understand their purpose. If you understand the purpose of life, then it will makes sense. Similar to learning math and names, we need to experience and understand what brings purpose and meaning to life.

When God came to this earth in human form, in Jesus Christ, one of the things He sought to do was to help us make sense of our lives. One great way He did this was by giving us the 2 great commandments: love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-40)

The first command helps us to understand our relationship with God. We have been created to be like God and be in relationship with God. The second command helps us to understand our relationship with each other. We are to seek to love one another and to work together. When we are fulfilling these two commands, not only does life make sense, but it is meaningful and blessed.

The problem comes when people fail to live according to one or both of the commands. When we are not in good communion with God, then we do not have God’s presence, power, and guidance in our lives. We struggle all the more in life, and find ourselves in more difficult situations with seemingly no way out. When we aren’t loving towards one another, we tend to experience more conflict and frustration.

I want to encourage you to use Matthew 22:37-40 as not only a guide to make sense of life, but to bring more meaning to your life as well. I believe that if you do this, you will find that you will experience the power and wonder of God’s presence, and the joy of living well with others. Blessings.