Finding the meaning of life

HAVE you ever felt that life has no meaning? That human existence is a monstrous joke? A friend remarked to me the other day, ``Why am I here? I never asked to be born. Life is filled with pain and sorrow, and in the end we all die. What's the use?'' I think we've probably all felt this way before. Most of the time, though, we pretty much accept life as it is and only rarely ask hard questions of it. But sometimes things don't work out as we have hoped. Cherished plans fall through, relationships sour, disease and injury strike. We suddenly see how impermanent and illusory material life is, and we despair.

This despair, this deep discontent with ``life as usual'' in matter, isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can be a very good thing, if it brings us to the realization of our absolute need for something beyond ourselves. The trials and sorrows of material life are simply telling us that it's time to go home to God, time to become as little children and seek the comfort of our heavenly Father-Mother.

As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, puts it: ``The sharp experiences of belief in the supposititious life of matter, as well as our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love. Then we begin to learn Life in divine Science.''1

Sometimes ``sharp experiences'' are needed before we see the futility of trying to live as if God, who is man's Life, either didn't exist or didn't matter. To Christ Jesus, God was the central fact of existence. He did not consider himself an independent mortal ego living apart from God. He saw himself only in relationship to God. To him, existence was his relationship, the reality of man's sonship with God, and this is what made his life the greatest ever lived.

Jesus' every effort was to show us that this life of conscious sonship with God is possible for us too. In fact, it's the actual fact of our being. As this fact fills our lives with its reality, we experience in a degree the unspeakable love, peace, joy, of those who know God intimately as Father-Mother.

The way into the consciousness of this eternal relationship is through childlike humility. Jesus told us plainly, ``Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.''2 We must put aside the ``adult'' ego, with its ingrained faith in material reality and its pride in what it ``knows'' to be true, and become as little children before the revealed truth of God. Not worldly sophistication but the humility, faith, and trust of a little child are what enable us to grasp the unseen realities of Spirit and feel the love of God. Christian Science, in consonance with Jesus' teaching, takes humility to its divine heights. It teaches man's total dependence on God. The relationship of man to God is that of perfect spiritual likeness, as the Bible teaches. As an image in a mirror exactly represents the original, so man in Science is the image of his Maker and thus is totally good, beautiful, spiritual.

Such Godlikeness may seem utterly beyond us. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that we are humble enough to accept this reality as a little child and let it transform us. There is a Science of Christ that we can practice, and as we see its healing effects in our lives, our faith and our love of God will increase.

Childlike humility is the key. It's not how much we think we know, but how open we are to what God knows that counts. If ``our disappointments and ceaseless woes'' are turning us Godward, the arms of divine Love are indeed at hand. The kingdom of God is always as close as our heart's desire for something better than the material world. If we will humbly open ourselves up to God, He will reveal His reality and our unbreakable relationship to Him.

Are you weary of life? Tired of its pains and sorrows? Then maybe it's time to become as a little child and turn humbly to your loving Father-Mother. You have everything to gain and only the world of pain and sorrows to lose.

1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 322. 2Matthew 18:3. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Peter 5:6,7

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