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Life Without God
Photo: Sanja Gjenero
One cold January morning, I had the chance to give a devotional talk in the Florida Hospital Imaging Center. I had been asked to talk about the New Year, with new beginnings... all that motivational-type, New Year's resolution/new beginnings stuff that we get spoon-fed at the beginning of every year and that we quickly forget about come February.

I was probably expected to talk about how our New Year's resolution should be to begin this year with God at our side and to set high goals and know that we will achieve them. You know, something inspirational like that. But I didn't start the message like that. I started it with just three words:

Everything is meaningless.

"What do people get for all their hard work? Generations come and go, but nothing really changes. The sun rises and sets and hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south and north, here and there, twisting back and forth, getting nowhere. Everything is so weary and tiresome! No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content. History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new" (Ecclesiastes 1:3-9).

Uneasy Listeners

As I continued the talk, I noticed that my temporary "congregation" of listeners was now a little bit uncomfortable in their chairs and most likely asking themselves if they could get anything good from what they were hearing. I told them that everything we did, from waking up in the morning to go to work, to driving home to be with the family, and finally going to bed, all of it is meaningless and is exactly the same as it was last year. Nothing changes. Nothing is new under the sun.

To end it there would have been disastrous. That was only half of the message. The other half was that in the midst of all this surrounding meaninglessness, we could only find some sense of it all in God. Our happiness doesn't matter. The jobs we have don't matter. The houses and cars that we "own" don't matter. The families we have don't matter. Our lives don’t matter...NONE OF IT MATTERS if we don't start with God FIRST. Only then do these things take meaning and purpose. When we begin with God, even we matter.

Everything below the sun is meaningless. Everything ABOVE the sun, where God is, is meaningful and life-giving.

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By Sebastian Zaldibar. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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