What is the Meaning of Life
We Were Made for God’s Love
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WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? Program 88 We Were Made for God’s Love by Ernest O’Neill
We are talking on this program about the meaning of life and particularly about the place of free will in our own lives. We’ve reached the point, you remember, where in discussing the explanation that the Supreme Being behind the universe gave to this old man, Moses, centuries and centuries ago, we’ve come to the point in that discussion where the presentation of free will is made as something that the Creator of the universe saw essential to His purpose in first creating us.
His purpose in first creating us was we would be His friends. That’s it. We would love Him. We would know Him. He would love us and know us. We would enjoy each other. That’s why He made us. That’s why He made you. You’re not here to fix pipes, if you’re a plumber, primarily. You’re not here to put wires into plugs, if you’re an electrician primarily. You’re not here to reformat drive C if you’re a computer expert.
You’re here primarily to become like your Creator so that, actually, you and He will be at home with each other in timelessness. That’s it. This is why He made us with a free will: because He, Himself has a free will. He wanted people who would love Him, because they chose to love Him. Indeed, that’s the only meaning of love. There is no such love, except what comes from a free will.
So, He made us like Himself, with His own capacities, and then He gave us the choice of becoming like Him, or not becoming like Him. You remember, we already presented that as the choice between two trees. It’s described way back in Genesis, chapter 2, verse 16. There are two trees and He said you may eat of the tree of life, but you must not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We’ve been talking about what that tree of life actually symbolized.
That was how God presented it to mankind in his childhood. Today, He might have presented it as some computer formula that we would have to examine or analyze or put into our IBM computer. But He presented it then as the choice between two trees. One was the tree of life. He said we would eat at the tree of life. The tree of life is really, for one thing, Himself, His own friendship.
Just the way you and I become more like each other the more we talk with each other and the more we come to know each other. Or the way a husband and wife become more like brother and sister after ten years of living with each other, because we imitate each other naturally, and especially, we imitate what we love and admire. Just so, just as it was his plan that we would walk with Him through our lives, we would become more and more like Him. That was actually His plan, you know.
His plan was that we would develop this world by His directions and by reading His mind. That was it. I don’t know if you remember the great commission to have authority over the world that is recorded way back in that book of Genesis, in chapter 1, verse 28. It runs like this: “And God blessed them and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’”
The Creator actually wanted us to do that — to subdue the world and to fill it, to bring it to completion and, in a sense, to complete the creation that He had started and bring it into order under His will through our close relationship with Him. He knew where the gold was. He knew where the oil was. He knew that if you tried to get the oil out of the Californian coast off Santa Barbara, you’d end up drowning the seagulls in oil when there were oil spills. He knew where to get the oil safely.
He knows what is under the Antarctic wastes. He knows how to develop the Sahara desert. His plan was that we would intuitively stay so close to Him that we would actually know what He was thinking. We would be able to read His mind and He would be able to put into us His own intuitive thoughts. We would, therefore, begin to develop the world as He guided us.
It’s interesting, isn’t it? A man like Einstein, of all people, has said, “All ideas come from God.” Of course, any of us that have tried to do any philosophical thinking know that’s a fact. Even though we talk about inductive logic and deductive logic, yet we have a strange sense there is no such thing as inductive logic. It’s the whole basis of the scientific method, but we suspect the philosophers are right who say there is no such thing as inductive logic; there is only deductive logic.
In other words, sometime during the night, some mysterious process takes place in the brain of Einstein and he wakens up in the morning with the solution or with a hypothesis that he then begins to test deductively and find out if it’s really true. But where that first hypothesis comes from is quite a mystery. Any of us, of course, who have had ideas that form the solution to things always find this. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Sinclair or whether it’s Cray and his computers in Minneapolis.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s old Einstein or whether it’s Frank Lloyd Wright. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Andrew Lloyd Webber, who writes such magnificent music, or whether it’s Rubenstein. It doesn’t matter who the originator of the creation is, all of them admit, there’s something mysterious in the actual concept. It seems, at times, to come from nowhere. Of course, that was the way the Creator meant us all to operate. He meant us all to operate from that fresh origin of thought and of reasoning that came from His own mind.
Of course, that’s why He said, “fill the earth”, because we would fill it with His own ideas. We would fill it with His own deep, complex intricate knowledge of the basis of the natural universe. Therefore, we would develop it in ways that would be beautiful and that would be fulfilling for us, and that would be harmonizing for the rest of the creatures in the universe.
So, eating of the tree of life means partly that we would have started to live our lives in a close relationship with the Creator and we would be guided by Him intuitively rather than by our own cleverness. In other words, I could picture it this way, though it is probably even more childish than the way we tend to think of the early chapters of Genesis — but it’s as if Adam would be in the garden and God’s plan was that He would say to Adam, “Adam, see that tree over there? The orange tree? Take some of the fruit, squeeze it, and the juice is really nice, and you’ll have a healthy, refreshing drink each morning.” And Adam would do that.
In the same way, the Creator would be so close to Adam and he would be so close to the Creator and they would have such friendship with each other, and they would talk to each other so continuously that the Creator would say, “See that river over there? It’s going to flood in the springtime. I want you to dam it up and redirect it that way.” Adam would do it.
This is part of what living off the tree of life means. It means, getting the directions from the originator of the universe through a relationship with Him, through a relationship of thought and of feeling, and, of course, first of all, believing He exists and then, treating Him as really existing. Then, we would begin to find He would feed His own thoughts through our thoughts. That is part of what the tree of life symbolizes. It symbolizes much more than that, but at least it symbolizes that.
For instance, some people can see the tree of life is what we call the spirit of God. It’s His Spirit; it’s
the very heart of Him. It’s the very essence of God. It’s the kind of person He is. I mean, He’s the bright person that has made little Yorkshire Terriers, has made little babies’ fingers, has made the breakers on the coast of Australia, has made the Hawaiian surf. He’s the exciting Creator that has made these exciting things, who is more exciting than any of His creation.
Receiving His Spirit means receiving that Spirit within us. It’s that spirit of open ocean and the fresh breezes that blow through your own heart and spirit that gives you the freshness and the life of the Creator. That’s part of what eating of the tree of life is concerned with. So, that the Creator said we were to choose to do. In other words, we were to choose to either live in close relationship with Him and develop the world that way or to choose to live independent of Him and develop it our own way.
Let’s talk a little more tomorrow about what we actually did.