What is the Meaning of Life
God says each of us is Unique
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WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? Program 183 God Says Each of Us is Unique by Ernest O’Neill
“What is the meaning of life?” That’s the question we’re talking about on this broadcast each day and this is broadcast #183, in case you may wish to refer to it sometime in our correspondence. What we’re talking about is “Why are we here?” “Why are you sitting in this car?” or “Why are you sitting in that room?” “Why am I sitting here talking into this microphone?” “What are we all here for? What’s the point of life?”
You remember that in trying to answer that question we’ve attempted to be semi-intellectual about it, and begin to work it out from some kind of sensible, intellectual presuppositions. We have proceeded from the position of theists, who believe that because of the order and design in the universe there must be an intellectual being behind it. That intellectual being must be at least as personal as we are in order to be able to make us persons.
Then we have examined the attempts of other people like Buddha or Zoroaster or Confucius to tell us what the Creator was thinking about. We’ve discovered that they all had one great limitation: they all died like dogs like the rest of us and were buried on this earth. They never gave any proof that they were able to pierce beyond the furthest star in order to tell us what the Creator behind it all had in mind when He made us.
Then we discovered that there was a remarkable man who lived in the first century of our era, called Jesus. We examined the historical documents that lie behind the history books of that period. We discovered that the one we have so often thought of as just myth, the Bible, is actually among the most reliable history that mankind possesses. The documentary evidence of early manuscripts is such that one cannot question but that this man Jesus really did live and die and — the big thing was — overcome death and come back and live for more than a month on the earth.
He was, in fact, not only the most supreme ethical teacher the world has seen, he was actually the Son of the Maker of our universe. We’ve been studying what he said was the meaning of our lives and the purpose of our lives. We’ve discovered, of course, that he outlined that we were made in three different levels of life. We have a body, which is the physical part. We have a soul, or the psychological part of us (our mind and emotions). Within that we have our spirits, which is the real essence of you as you really are. “What a man is when he’s alone, that he is and nothing more.” That’s what your spirit is; it’s the essence of you.
We’ve seen that the way the Creator meant us to operate was from the inside out. That is, we were meant through our spirits to have a friendship with Him and a relationship with Him. In fact, that’s the whole purpose of our lives: to become His friends, to understand Him and to know Him. Through our spirits we were meant to do that.
You actually know that yourself. The few moments you sensed you were in touch with the eternal depths, or whatever you want to call them, behind the universe have been those moments when you have been driven to see the futility of life. When everything has collapsed in your job, or in your home, or in your family you’ve sunk into the heart of life and you’ve been really real for a few seconds. It’s in those few seconds that you’ve sensed some presence, some spirit or Being beyond what you can see with your eyes.
So, it is in your spirit that you communicate with the Creator of the universe. We were meant to do that; you were actually meant to know the Maker of the world. He knows you. He’s counted all the hairs of your head. That’s what Jesus said — that God has even counted the hairs of your head. He said that not a sparrow falls
to the ground, but that your heavenly Father (and that’s what He called our Creator) knows it. Are you not of much more value than many sparrows?
Yet, if the Creator knows when a sparrow falls to the ground, He certainly knows every thought you’ve had over these past few minutes. The Creator knows you, and His intention was that you would get to know Him. You’d get to know Him and understand Him. You’d find out from Him why He put you here, why He has given you the abilities He’s given you and what He has put you in this world to do for Him.
Then you were intended to express that through your soul, through your mind and emotions and then out, by reference to your will, through your body and then out into the world. It would be so that our world would be filled with guided people, people who dug coal because they knew where the best seams were and which ones would cause the least disruption to the surface life of the nation where they were working.
People would strike oil, not on the Santa Barbara coast, where you drown all the seagulls in the black stuff, but in safe places where there were deep wells that would last for years and years. The Creator knows the universe better than anybody. He has buried the coal; He has buried the gold. He knows where the bauxite is.
His plan was that we would get to know Him and would get to know His mind and get to know what His mind was for each of our lives, so that we would produce music that elevated, music that healed, that made whole. We would write plays that would bring glory and joy and delight to mankind and understanding to families. That was the Creator’s intention. We would, through our spirits, commune with Him. That’s one of the functions of our spirit, you remember, to commune with God.
Then, through our intuition, we would simply know what He wanted us to do. Then through our conscience, which operates on the basis of our intuition, our will would be constrained to direct our mind to think those thoughts, and then those thoughts, of course, would stir up certain feelings in us in our emotions that would enable our body to express and to do what we sensed the Creator wanted us to do, or say, or think. We were meant to operate like that.
Of course, if we had we would have a great sense of our own identity and a great sense of our importance in the universe, because each of us can do something that nobody else can. That’s right. You may sit there and say, “Ah, not me. I’m a miserable nothing. I’m just a blot on an ink pad.” No! No, you’re not! There’s nobody like you — nobody. Not a soul like you.
You may say, “It’s just as well.” You may joke about it. There’s nobody like you. Your mom and your dad weren’t like you. Even your identical twin isn’t like you; you’re unique. There’s been nobody like you in the whole universe ever. Do you know another secret? There never will be anybody like you. The Creator has made only one of you. There is something you can do and you can think and you can say that I can’t.
You may say, “Ah, I’m a janitor. I’m a janitor!”, or “I mend roads. I’m a secretary. I’m a computer operator. I’m a gardener; I cut down trees. I’m a housewife. I’m a charlady. I’m a nothing.” No, you’re not a nothing. You’re not. There’s nobody like you, nobody like you. There’s a beauty that you can bring into this world that nobody else can.
Forget that business of judging yourself the way the world judges, according to your outward appearance or according to the money that you’ve made or the success. Sure, it’s all blown away in a moment, you know that. You know. Would you rather be alive now or dead like Churchill? Which? Which? Well, there’s no doubt, is there? However much we respect Churchill, however much we think of him, boy, I’d rather be alive. I’d rather be alive, than dead as Churchill.
So, you’re unique. There is nobody like you. There’s something you can do for the Maker of the world that nobody else can do or can achieve. That’s the way we were meant to operate. It gives us a great sense of identity, a great sense of satisfaction, a great sense of happiness, a great sense of position and self-worth. Nothing does the same thing for us. Of course, we rejected that whole idea. We didn’t want to be governed by anybody but ourselves.
From the very beginning of the world our forefathers rebelled against the whole idea and determined, “No, we’re not going to trust a Creator; we’re going to trust ourselves. We’re going to mine this world. We’re going to dig this world. We’re going to develop this world for our own benefits, the way we want to and not by listening to somebody up there who wants to tell us how to do it. We will do it ourselves.” And that’s what we have done for centuries. That’s part of the explanation of the mess we’re in today.
But a greater problem has resulted. The moment we did that, we began to lose all the relationship of assurance and confirmation that we had with our Creator. We began to sense that there was nobody there and that we existed alone on this planet. That brought about a neurotic situation that has driven us crazy ever since. Let’s talk more about that tomorrow and then proceed with our discussion.