It seems vexing to most people what the ‘meaning of life’ is about. It’s surprisingly hard to work out. There’s often very little link between justice and reality and the point of life. For some, life is too long; but others have it far too short. In between, we are forgiven for questioning our purpose.
Let me put it plainly:
The grand hope of this life is the hope of eternal peace in the life following.
Thinking about that statement, we might mistakenly think this life is a waste of time; a waste of hope. But maybe this life provides meaning for the next life. Besides, we have it all to look forward to—a reality, then, that puts this reality completely into insignificance (although what we do here is never insignificant).
Whatever we think of life in the here and now, there is a hope that we can only ponder from here; a hope promised in the Bible, sure, but also a hope of all our deepest hearts: that life will one day make sense.
This, we can only hope, is that eternal hope of peace in the following life.
Attaching such a future and distant hope to this life makes this life all the more liveable, especially if we’ve committed to taking this life truthfully.
This grand hope that’s in our scope here is not the only hope. Indeed, most people—sad as it is—don’t even realise it as a hope; or worse, refuse to. Many people place their hopes in the transient, fleeting pleasures that are firmly set as the treasures of this life. So be it. At least they are seen, felt, touched, heard and tasted.
But what is unseen is eternal, and the flash of light that represents this life is quickly gone; rendered insignificant apart from the purposes of Judgment.
The strangest thing is the more we pin our hopes on the grand hope, the more God shows us about the nature of this next life that is but the-vacancy-of-breath away.
What more might be said?
What positive encouragements and reinforcements to sow into this grand hope exist?
It’s a risk to partake. We risk our time (which is given to us anyway), perhaps our popularity and the perceptions of our friends, and even those assets that embody our hopes today. But those sorts of risks are not large and onerous; not considering the weight of glory that resides in hoping for eternal peace, and an answer regarding the real meaning of this life.
This grand hope will only be important to us if the truth is, equally, important.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.
Graphic Credit: His Dream by Duchesse-2-Guermante.