Finding Meaning in Life

By David Engelsma

Some time ago, a remarkable thing happened in the state of California. A 17-year-old girl achieved a perfect score (1600) on both sections of the Scholastic Achievement Test, and a perfect score (8000) on the tough University of California acceptance index. Never in history has anyone accomplished this intellectual feat. Yet this brilliant one-of- a-kind young teenager who knew all the test answers, when asked by a news reporter during an interview, "What is the meaning of life?" replied, "I have no idea. I would like to know myself."

This inability to explain why she exists or her purpose for living, though perhaps shocking to us, is characteristic of her peers. A whole generation of young people is entering the new millennium with little or no conception of spiritual issues and the purpose they give to one’s life. Surrounded by material blessings, benefiting from thousands of dollars spent on education, medical care, fitness, and travel, they are ignorant of the purpose of their existence as creatures of God.

The goal of public education is to prepare young people for life. Yet it fails miserably when God is excluded from the curriculum, for then life’s most important questions are either ignored or erroneously answered. Real purpose and meaning in life require answers to questions relating to God - questions which, sooner or later, each of us must deal with. Some of these questions include:

  • Who is God?
  • How did I get here?
  • What happens after death?
  • How can I be saved?
  • Who am I as a person?
  • What is death?
  • What is sin?
  • What does God expect of me?

Assisting our children to find the answers to these questions in the Scriptures is the most important task we have as parents. Our Christian schools can be a valuable "tool" for parents to fulfill this crucial responsibility. Our students’ attention is focused on these concerns throughout each day in everything which is taught. Our aim is to teach every subject in such a way that students understand that all knowledge is of God and must be used to His honor and the welfare of our neighbor. Christian schooling focuses on helping students understand the importance of godly obedience and submission of their lives to God’s call and purpose.

The world sells a convincing lie of happiness and success through having. Thus, as our students grow in awareness and understanding, we confront them with the question, "What goals are worthy of the investment of your life and the talents God has given you?" We must help them to understand that the false values of money, power, and position are but empty symbols of significance; that the temporal things of this world will not deliver the satisfaction they advertise. Their failure to get a clear under- standing of what is worth striving for in life can lead to a lifetime of regret, misery, and eternal woe hereafter.

Our study recently in Bible class helps to put this into perspective. While studying together the events preceding the death of King David, we read in 1Chronicles 28 that when King David had grown old and knew he was dying, he called his son Solomon to give him his "last words." He said, "And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts. If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever." A meaningful discussion followed which exemplified the opportunities students can experience in our Christian schools-opportunities to apply Biblical lessons to everyday life.

Although our words may not have the impact that King David’s had on his son, yet we must prayerfully impress upon them at home and at school this timeless message that whatever they set out to do in life, in this new school year, they must begin by seeking the Lord and His will for their lives. May the Lord add His blessing so that our children may seek Him Who alone can give purpose, meaning, and fulfillment in our lives.