But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
What’s your goal in life? And if you get there, will you really be satisfied? Tough questions, right? But isn’t that what fulfillment in life is all about?
“Success Doesn’t Suck,” was the title of the Rolling Stone Magazine article featuring Kurt Cobain in January of 1994. The American musician, artist, and songwriter changed pop music, fashion, and art through his band, Nirvana, and his connection with his listeners. He had gone from a quiet, unhappy boy after his parents’ divorce, to massive success and means by the age of 26, when the Rolling Stone writer subtitled his article: ”Our man in Nirvana rages on (and on) about stardom, fatherhood, his feud with Pearl Jam, the death of grunge and why he’s never been happier in his life.” Yet three months later, his heroin kit lying beside him on the floor of his home, Cobain had taken his own life with a revolver, leaving behind a one-year-old daughter.
If having plenty of money is your goal in life, consider George Vanderbilt III, a millionaire sportsman, philanthropist, and playboy. Money, sex, and fame were all his, yet he ended his life leaping from the tenth floor of a hotel. What many seek in life, he had, yet with it all, happiness eluded him.
There is a place in the human heart which only God can fill, and nothing short of a relationship with him will satisfy.
If accomplishment in life is your goal, then consider the life of Ernest Hemingway, one of the heroes of my youth. When I was in college I thought, “If I could ever write like Hemingway, wow, I’d have it made.” Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for literature. He was famous for his pungent character descriptions in works like A Farewell to Arms, The Old Man and The Sea, and For Whom the Bells Toll. Still in my possession is a yellowed newspaper, the front page of the L.A. Times dated July 3, 1961. The headlines read: “GUNSHOT BLAST KILLS HEMINGWAY.” The story reads: “Ernest Hemingway, Nobel Prize-winning novelist who wrote of violence and death, shot himself fatally in the head Sunday with a 12-gauge shotgun at his home near here.” Obviously, a person can be tremendously talented and yet unfulfilled and miserable.
If fame or beauty is your goal in life, consider Marilyn Monroe. On August 5, 1962, newspapers told how this gifted and beautiful woman overdosed on Nebutol—a drug which stopped her heart. Her psychiatrist finally smashed down the door to find her lifeless body. My hometown newspaper editorialized, “Marilyn Monroe died Sunday proving that even $10,000 a week won’t buy peace of mind.”
I’ve just mentioned some of the most commonly sought goals of people: money, achievement, and fame. There has to be more, something which brings a quality to life beyond these. Long ago, Augustine wrote that there is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person which can be met only through an encounter with the divine.
Friend, what’s your goal in life? If you reach it, without God, there will always be an emptiness which will never completely satisfy. Fame, wealth, and accomplishment are often like a mirage in the desert, and when people finally arrive, they are disappointed only to find that happiness has eluded them.
There is a place in the human heart which only God can fill, and nothing short of a relationship with him will satisfy. Want to know more about it? Pick up a Bible and read John 3 from your New Testament. There you will discover a man who had an encounter with God which changed his life. A relationship with God is all that will ever give lasting meaning. It’s the only real answer to the loneliness of your heart.
Resource reading: John 3