Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Where am I going?” Is your aim in life one, or perhaps several, of the signs in the picture aside? Have you thought about whether that’s everything life is about?
We are surrounded by many offers which claim to give fulfillment to our lives. But what they can give us is only a temporary and never a real, permanent aim in life. Only a permanent aim can fulfill our deep longing for everlasting joy and peace. The offers of this world are short-lived and they will pass away. Therefore we should look for the answer beyond this world, which means to look for God. God created us and knows what is best for us. Because He is eternal He can grant us permanent fulfillment.
Let’s see how Jesus puts it:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Gospel of Matthew 6:19–21)
Be aware that gathering temporary treasures binds your heart to them and very soon you will become a slave of your studies, job, movies or the like. You spend your time and energy on them and can’t think about anything else anymore. You have lost your freedom. But if you strive for spiritual treasures you will experience what real joy is. God will help you to understand the purpose of your life and what you should do.
Jesus shows us the way
God showed his love towards us by sending his son Jesus Christ to help us to realize the truth. The truth isn’t anything theoretical. Jesus speaks about the reasons of every evil and sin and shows us the way out of our self-centered life. His spiritual insight is amazing. Jesus did not only speak, but also lived a righteous, holy, and pure life as no one ever did. He invites us to follow his example which means also to be ready to give up our own wishes and plans.
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Gospel of Mark 8:34–37)
There is nothing more precious we have than our soul, our life. So shouldn’t we make every effort to put away any obstacle that hinders our salvation? Our own, mostly selfish plans and wishes have to be replaced by the desire to live for God. In this way we can respond to His love towards us. He loved us first and is always willing to forgive our sins. Even if it seems to be difficult to change our lives, we have no reason to be hopeless because God wants to give us his power to overcome every difficulty. Jesus came to teach us and to accompany us as a master and brother in our efforts for a holy life.
Christians follow Jesus wholeheartedly
Christian life does mean to follow Jesus wholeheartedly. Only if we put God in the first place of our lives, we are worthy to be called Christians. It’s not enough—and even wrong—to lead a somehow pious life by keeping some religious traditions and rules just because we have been brought up in that way. Neither is it sufficient to accept Jesus as personal savior if it is not connected with the firm decision to live according to God’s will—not in theory but in daily practice. Otherwise all spiritual activities become a formality which makes us indifferent and empty. We then miss the experience of what Jesus promised:
I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (Gospel of John 6:35)
We should devote ourselves to God instead of only expecting blessings!
Isn’t it the reality that many people only expect much from God but aren’t ready to give everything? Can we have a relationship with God if we want to get all kinds of blessing but aren’t willing to devote ourselves? A relationship is never one-sided but mutual. Apostle Paul writes to the Christians in Rome:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. (Letter to the Romans 12:1)
The disciples of Jesus serve God with their whole lives, not only on specific days or in special places. The Christians in the Bible did it together rather than as individuals and this fellowship of the first Christians is an example we can follow nowadays as well.
The question “Where am I going?” should lead to the question “Where should I go?” Apostle Simon Peter said to Jesus,
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
(Gospel of John 6:68)