Significance: How Do We Find It?
“The most interesting man in the world,” is a tagline that resonated with hearts all across America. Most every kid, teenager, or adult craves the ability to mesmerizes a room with a calm recounting of their latest exotic story. Sure we may not all want to grab a beer. The beer commercial even acknowledges as much. But the message of the Dos Equis goes beyond your beverage of choice. The add connects with the human longing to separate, differentiate, ourselves to such a point that our neighbors cannot help but remark, “Wow, that guy.”
How do we arrive at such a place, short of going to the moon? How do we find significance worth noting?
I remember lamenting my life as middle schooler because I had no amazing stories. I never car-surfed or got my football team to lift the car of fellow classmate over a locked gate. I struggled to get my parents to let me listen to classical rock n roll. The idea of being interesting to a world of kids who had unlimited access to cable T.V. and Super Nintendo’s seemed all but impossible.
How do escape our boring childhood, high school career, and adult, work life?
Do we have to be sexual immoral on the beach while our friends root us on? Do we need to drink, smoke, vape, and do whatever else is ‘in’ to garner our neighbors attention?
The answer is no because significance does not come from our peers, friends, or those around us.
We find significance when we delight in the law of the Lord. In Psalm one we read, “Blessed is the man who…delights in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.”
Significance is not found in the wisdom of our peers, in the consensus of our Facebook group, or in the ideas of the university. Those who embrace the world seeking significance may indeed find wealth, lovers, and recognition. Those who risk all to impress their friends and to gain notoriety may very well gain that which they seek. But they will not find the blessing of God. They will not find true life.
We are not supposed to walk in the counsel of the wicked. We should not say divorce is ok because our Facebook friends agree that our spouse is a loser. We should not cheat on our taxes because we see that our friends got away with defrauding the government. We cannot find significance and life by chasing after the things of the world.
We are not to stand in the way of sinners. The way of the blessed and happy does not flow through the world. Joy is not found in the company of sinners. The friends who join with us to watch an X-rated movie, or who laugh with us as we drink ourselves silly drunk do not lead us to happiness and fulfilment.
Now some try to be innovative and mock those seeking significance. Instead of running with them, they mock everything. They mock those who try to live biblically for being too boring to try drugs. They mock the studious for not realizing that life is all vanity and worthless. They mock the foolish for not valuing education and discipline enough to earn the money needed to enjoy life’s finer pleasures. They take joy in mocking and in deriding the hopes and dreams of others. They take joy in separating themselves form others by their mocking.
All these attempts to find meaning are pointless. All their names, records, and stories will fade. The Psalmist says “The wicked…are like the chaff that the wind drives away.” They are here today and gone. The Chaff is the dried husk left in the field after the crop has been harvested. It is worthless and quickly whisked away by the wind. Such is the life of the wicked, the worldly, and all those who embrace the counsel of the wicked, who stand in the way of sinners, and who sit in the seat of the scornful.
Albert Camus knew as much and despaired of life having any real many. Often the today’s most interesting man will be no more than an asterisk in forgotten history book that no one reads. Significance cannot be found in the human experiment.
The Psalmist agrees. True life which consists not of being known by our neighbor but in being connected to God via God’s Word. The man and the women who delight in the Word of God have true significance.
Only those who delight in the Word find God.
It is true that nature declares the glory of God. But nature does not save. Nature does not show us our sin. Nature does not present Christ are our savior. Nature does not offer us hope. Nature only reveals that there is a God who is far removed from us. We cannot reach God on our own through nature.
Thankfully we do not have to reach out to God because he has reached out to us. He has given us his Word. He knows our petty attempts for significance will fail. And he has given us his Word. His Word shows us who God is and what he requires of us. The Word shows that all who repent and believe will find life through Christ. The Word offers significance through the saving power of God. If you have not repented and believed the Word -that Christ came to die and rescue evil people like you and me from our sin- I encourage you to believe now. Repent now. Trust God’s Word. When you do you find abundant life. You find a joy that will never end.
Now, we will go through times of extreme heat. We may lose all position, notoriety, and even our home. But, we are happy; we have significance because we are attached to God. He sustains us through all. Those of us who find their significance in Christ will never wither under the weight of human opinion, sickeness, or disasters.
By focusing on Christ we escape our sorrows, the daily grind, and the hopeless cycle of the media. And not only do we escape, we flourish. We will grow in our understanding of God’s character. We will grow in our obedience. We will grow and will prosper.
This does not mean that every Christian who starts a business will become a billionaire. This does not mean every school project will be easy or that everyone will love us. No, this means that our relationship with the Lord will not wain. This means that no matter what we lose in this world, we will have Christ as revealed in the Word. He will sustain us and help us flourish.
Significance cannot be found in the human experiment because history is not the final judge. God is. Value and significance cannot be found in hanging off buildings nor in criticizing those who do. Significance is found in being with God at the end of universe. The wicked, those who walk with the wicked, stand with sinners, and sit with scoffers will find only judgement. Only the righteous, those who abide with Christ will be known by God.
To find significance, we do not have to launch ourselves to Mars. We need to plug into the Word of God. We need focus our lives on the Word of God. We need to repent of all the days we spent courting the favor of the world in an effort to sustain our insatiable ego. And then, we must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We must abandon the illusion that there is a most interesting man in this world and that we can be him or her. Then we must embrace the reality that there is a God who is far greater and far better than we could ever imagine. When we do, we will find the significance that we crave.
Are you ready to pursue the one true God?