The Creek Church

The Meaning of Life

July 9, 2020 | Nikki Patterson

“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 1:2 ESV

In other words, everything in life is meaningless.

But, if everything is meaningless, what’s the meaning of life?

Simply put, it’s Christ. 

The past few months, I watched as my plans for college graduation and starting my career were wrecked by circumstance. I found myself in the same boat as many students, trying to find a new place to live and a new job.

This wasn’t how I planned to transition into post-college life, and I was angry that nothing seemed to work out the way I had hoped.

“For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear." Ecclesiastes 5:7 ESV

What I couldn’t see then is that God wanted me to be still and listen. His plans weren’t the same as mine, and for good reason. I needed to learn — and am still learning — that regardless of what life looks like, it is all meaningless without Christ.

Today I find myself writing on the porch of a space I get to share with one of the fiercest prayer-warriors and inspiring business-women I know. I wanted my own apartment, not a temporary solution, but God knew I needed to build relationships.

I’m in the midst of starting my own business working with local companies and non-profits I love. The job offers I had before COVID were cushy in comparison, but God knew I would settle for comfort over passion.

I’m growing in my relationship with God because it’s impossible to get through the week without His grace and provision. I don’t believe I would be as dependent on Him had things gone another way.

A month ago, I saw all of these circumstances as negative things. Temporary solutions, risks, and dependency are not among the list of things I enjoy. I thought I could control my circumstance, but I was really allowing my circumstance to control me.

At the end of the day, I had to come to understand that what I do, where I live, and how my life looks are all vanity. It is all meaningless and will eventually be forgotten. 

“For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool!” Ecclesiastes 2:16 ESV

What matters — all that matters — is that I walk through every season proclaiming who Christ is and what He has done for you and me. Without that — without Him — my life has no value, and neither does yours. As heavy as that sounds, understanding that is where freedom began for me in this season.

I am confident that no matter the circumstance, holding Christ as greater and raising His name before my own will never be rendered meaningless — not because my actions mean anything, but because Christ is everything. 

I am assured in the joy of the Lord because I know money, status, and plans couldn’t matter less. I am not held captive by my circumstances when I believe Christ is all that matters.

“Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV

We know the Old Testament commands were impossible to keep, that’s why we need Christ. When He came, He fulfilled the old covenant, including the commandments the author of Ecclesiastes is referencing here. 

He also gave us a new covenant and command. Through Him we have salvation by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) and the instruction to love one another as He loves us (John 15:12). To put the kingdom of God first (Matthew 6:33), making disciples of every nation (Matthew 28:16-20). 

That is all we need.

Our circumstances are fleeting, so it doesn’t matter what situation we find ourselves in today. What matters is that we live for Christ in every season. Without Him, we are still dead in sin — life remains meaningless.

So, I’ll leave you with this question: 

Are you allowing your circumstances to define your life, or are you finding life in Christ?

The Well Blog

At The Well, we desire to be a community of women who live out our potential and purpose in Christ, lead where God has placed us, and encourage others to do the same.

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