Supposing you are in space and it was made known to you the surface area upon which I stood and you were tasked with the job of locating me, what would you see?
Would you be able to spot me?
I trust not.
From space, I am barely visible. Actually, I am non-existent to the human eye.
Think of that for a moment…
Who are you in the grandeur of the universe? What does your presence on earth signify? What of the people you love? Who are they and for what purpose are they here?
Why this life and why this particular time in life?
What of the knowledge you have acquired in life? How have you been able to discern between what is true and what is false?
Yet, when I thought of these questions myself, I discovered that I was limited in knowledge.
“What was the meaning of it all? What was it all about?” I thought to myself.
Despite having attended the school of reasoning and intellectualism offered by the world, I found the knowledge I had acquired was, and, still is nanoscopic compared to the secrets hidden in the universe by God. My understanding was nothing compared to that of the One who had woven it all together.
Thus, where could I find the truth about my life?
How could I know for certain that the life that I was living was true and if it was truly purposeful?
These types of questions can cause a great deal of anxiety in somebody’s life at a certain point in the critical stages of life. Yet, life persistently poses them to each and every single individual.
What fulfills our lives and gives it joy and satisfaction? What informs our lives in truth? And where can we truly find this wisdom and understanding?
Now, our parents at times tell us, “Get a good education, and marry a good wife or husband; this is truth and good wisdom.”
Our peers can also tell us, “Look for a better job that earns you more money, this is truth and good wisdom.”
Our school teachers may tell us, “Work hard so that you can create your own reality, this is truth and good wisdom.”
Spiritual instructors may also tell us, “Create your own destiny, believe in yourself, activate the power within you through positive thinking, this is truth and good wisdom.”
All these voices, but where can we really find truth and sound wisdom?
Certainly, we are in the age of increased knowledge and great education; thousands and thousands of graduands each year across the globe. Every single day there are new inventions, construction of industries, innovations, technological advancements, new information disseminated and discoveries, etc…
But how can we find the purpose of our lives amidst all that goes on around the world? Where do we fit in in all this? What is our role?
And if this world was to end today, and the appointment with our Maker was ensuing, what would we answer when He asks: “Give an account for your life.”
Would it be friends, family, children, followers, associates, connections?
Would it be job titles, money, title deeds, positions, influence, likes, comments?
Would it be charity, bequests, or gifts?
Or would it be certificates, diplomas, bachelors, masters, doctorates, and honors?
In all honesty, if God would have asked me that question at a certain point in my life (say six years ago), the above would have been my responses.
“God, I made the best out of every situation I was handed in life. I did something with my life, even though it was not as grandiose as those I peeped their lives on the social. At least: I got an education, I got a good paying job, I bought a piece of land, I gave to the poor, I helped to change people’s lives, I had amazing friends, I was planning on getting married someday and possibly have children… yada yada yada.”
These would have been my responses. These would have been the sacrifices I would have brought to Him.
Shakespeare once said,
“But man, proud man,
Dressed in a little brief authority [knowledge],
Most ignorant of what he is most assured.”
Interesting— this short quote.
Most ignorant of what he is most assured— meaning in that field that he has supposed himself to have the most expertise, he is most ignorant.
All these achievements: proud and immensely assured of my field of study, the little I had, the things I owned, the position I held at work, and all the other ‘grandiose’ things I had done including the possessions I had acquired, are the things I would have proudly presented to God.
Sadly, this is what the world emphasizes importance on to every single person born in this small blue planet orbiting around the sun.
In one of my favorite movies: three idiots— Virus, the head of the Imperial College of Engineering, keeps telling the students: “Life is a race, if you don’t run fast you’ll get trampled.“
Consequently, when we are born, we get with the program. We begin our races, lest we get trampled over and poooof we are dead!
And as we are running our frantic rat races, the little knowledge we perceive to acquire over time, we puff our chests on account of it.
God once asked Job some questions as he perceived himself to have sufficient knowledge and understanding of his own life, the universe, and also His own right-standing with God.
“Prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding?
Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?
Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, and the wicked shaken out of it?
Where is the way to the dwelling of the light, and darkness, where is its place?
Do you know it, because you were born then? or because of the number of your days are great? Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, “here we are?”
Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion? Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, and spread its wings towards the south?
Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that an abundance of water may cover you?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?”
God, in short, was asking Job … “What do you know? Tell Me.”
Again, going back to the question: what do we really know? Where can truth, knowledge and sound wisdom be found?
In one of my critical stages in life, as I pondered on similar questions for many days, still desiring to advance more in education, get a better job, live a positive life, make a better reality for myself… (going through my papers– all through high school, university, and other certificates acquired), just examining them, I honestly thought to myself: “wood, hay, and stubble.”
And not at all diminishing my parents’ sacrifice and whole-hearted efforts to put me through school… but just having the understanding now, that all these things did not answer the questions reality kept presenting to me every single day.
They did not fill the emptiness that was constantly in my heart each waking day, no matter how much I tried to fill it with these good gifts of God.
Like Job, I came to the realization that I was self-deceived.
I did not know anything— let alone knowing much.
Job spoke these answers to God after God having presented Him with a thesis of questions,
“You asked, ‘who is this who speaks without knowledge?’
Therefore, I have uttered, what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’
I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore, I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job came to a place of understanding that life amounts to no value without God and without acknowledging that God is above all – wise, sovereign and true.
Having had all the wealth, riches and fame in his time, He understood that at the end of it all… all that mattered was a genuine and honest relationship with God. He saw his folly to stand before God in His own righteousness, that is, (this is what I have done, this is what I have acquired, this is how much I have impacted the community, and so forth…)
And so did Nebuchadnezzar, so did David, so did Paul, Jacob, and many other thousands who over time, humbled themselves before God and acknowledged that indeed, they were foolish beyond reason in their own capacities. Acknowledging as well, that they needed God to cleanse them of their self-righteousness and sin.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.
A genuine relationship with God from the heart. Where He knows you and you know Him in truth— and not in hearing like as Job had perceived and thought. But having encountered God, in truth, as a friend, and as a Father.
Thus, I understood, my purpose and had an answer to the question: “Give an account for your life.”
“I have loved the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and with all my strength. Not by my own strength, might, or power, but by the empowering of His Holy Spirit.”
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
I understood that truth, knowledge, wisdom and the purpose of our lives could only be found in Christ Jesus alone.
And this is wisdom,
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.
14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
17 But the wisdom that is from above [from God] is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.