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What Was I Made For?

What Was I Made For?

Any depressed philosophers out there? Have I got a book for you! Anybody facing a bit

of an existential crisis? You are not alone. Ever feel like life isn’t as clear cut and how you’d like

it to be? Keep reading!


Human beings have long searched for meaning in life—answers to some of our deepest

questions: What constitutes a ‘good’ life? What will truly satisfy and provide meaning to my

life? Why does there seem to be such a random nature to things? What is the purpose of life if

we’re all going to die anyway? And what role (if any) does God have in this? These questions

aren’t just for the tortured poets of our society (I see you, Swifties!). They’re for every human

being—from the first-year college student at the start of her career, to the professional facing a

mid-life crisis, to the elderly widow adjusting to the physical limitations of her age. Wouldn’t it

be great if we could hear from someone who had the answers to these questions?


We can! The Book of Ecclesiastes, in the Old Testament, may be an ancient book, but

the truths are timeless. In it, our Teacher—also known as The Critic—shares insights from his

own quest after quest for meaning: the pursuit of wisdom, pleasures—wine, women, and

wealth—a successful career and status, and youth and physical health. In the end, he concludes

that every one of these comes up short…a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes is a poignant and

persuasive deconstruction of what doesn’t satisfy.


And yet, contrary to how many people have understood the book, this doesn’t mean

that life has no meaning. The initial cry, ““Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless”

(1:1, NIV) is a bit misleading; “mere breath, a mere breath” is more accurate. Life is fleeting.

Depending on what we’re chasing, it might even be futile. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, The

Critic would say it is only by seeing each potential substance of fulfillment for what it truly is—a

gift from God that has its limits—that we can truly find the joy and meaning we deeply yearn

for. In fact, once we embrace the cold hard truth about life, life explodes with meaning and we

can truly, “Eat, drink, and be merry” (2:24).


So if a little meaning or merry sounds like something you’d like, if you’re tired of empty

clichés and unsatisfying answers, join us the week after Easter Sunday for our series What Was I

Made For? We will explore some of the greatest teaching from the Bible on a life well lived. My

hope is that you, too, will find The Critic’s voice an indispensable—even if unpopular—one.

Because in the end, once all is set within its proper context and limits, we will see just why

everything matters!