Life is hard, and we all struggle to cope with it. Sometimes consciously, but often without even knowing it, we need something to live for, something that makes us feel we are somebody—a person whose life matters.

            Yet life has a way of getting in the way of our plans. Often our quest for purpose and meaning is stymied, and so we resort to wrong paths to still fulfill the dream. We sell ourselves into various activities, whether healthy or nefarious, to gain “life.” In our haste, we settle for instant gratification, which often leads instead to more brokenness and damage. Sometimes we lose steam and give up, but can’t live with the sense of failure or discontentment, and so often we try again by a different path. For a while the new dream energizes and gives us a sense of purpose, but if it goes unfulfilled it strips us of life and relegates us to the banality of smallness found in routine. Even if it’s fulfilled, however, even our success gives a false sense of security and a satisfaction grounded on sand. Either way the hole in us remains.

            Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (Jn. 10.10). Jesus is claiming that He is the way and means in a completely different course to a distinctly fulfilling end. Not “life as we know it, but happy rather than empty,” but instead a completely different model unlike anything human. In the pursuit of Jesus alone will one find a point of reference that actually leads to completion. It is a relationship with Christ that ultimately provides the breakthrough we truly seek into the sublime and the meaningful. All other roads eventually lead to a sort of prison, whether a loss of reference, regret, a distortion of reality, a life unfulfilled, or a false sense of self. Only by a relationship with Jesus as the reference point of eternity and meaning can one find the true abundance of life.

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