In our brokenness, we often get it wrong. We set our objectives on tasks and accomplishments because these are necessary for life. We need to have our needs met, to make a living, and to experience success. But is the goal of our lives to get stuff done or is there something greater for which we do these things?
I think even for the secular individual, it's not hard to grasp the concept of putting food on the table. I don't mean this strictly in the sense of attaining financial security but in the regard that work for most people is about providing for another. We live not just for ourselves but for our loved ones. While this sense of other is nominally at the root of our lives, it doesn't necessary get nurtured in the way it should.
We live in an individualistic, materialistic time. The messages we see and hear are often about how to make our lives more interesting, comfortable, and convenient via consumption. But is this how God created the world? For people to find fulfillment in things?
Jesus lived without any possessions, yet we must see him as the complete person. His attention and fulfillment never came from things. Jesus prized most of all communion with his Father and his people. Indeed, Jesus left heaven and all of its benefits in order to become poor and to die the sinner's death. Why?
In Hebrews 12:2, it says that Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before him. In his heart and mind the goal that drove him through infinite suffering was the prospect of an eternal relationship of his people to himself.
If we are to follow Jesus and take after him as our teacher, we must also see to it that our hearts reflect this. The problem is that our hearts don't know what a relationship with God could be. A lie has been told to us that God is not good, he is not true, he is not enjoyable.
The only way to overcome the lie is by the truth. Jesus, who claimed to be the truth, invites us to know him for who he really is. When we approach the living God with such a seeking and openness, we will taste and see that he indeed is good and our hearts will be reoriented to seek and treasure eternal relationships with God and his people rather than fleeting, earthly goals.
I need this more than any other, but it all starts with worship and a seeking after him. Let us pursue the living God in Jesus Christ who made a way for us. Amen.