At some point or another in our lives, most of us hit a threshold. After a while of going to sleep at night, waking up in the morning, going to work, coming home, and going to sleep at night again, a question hits us.
Is this it?
Is this all that life is? Is life this tiresome routine that we repeat over and over again? Is life just about eating and drinking and sleeping and waking and dying? If that’s the case, what’s the point of it all, really?
Last year, many people came to one conclusion to that question. The World Health Organization provides the sobering statistic that last year, approximately one million people died from suicide worldwide. Attempted suicide is up 10 to 20 percent. Someone commits suicide every 40 seconds, and an attempt is made every 3 seconds, on average. Suicide is one of the three leading causes of death among people aged 15-34 years.
And even for those of us who don’t quite feel suicidal, the question still remains. What’s the meaning of it all? Is there more to this life that the emptiness of merely surviving from day to day? If not, what’s the point, really?
When we hunger physically, we can pull into the nearest McDonalds and get ourselves a burger and fries. When we thirst emotionally, we can spend time with friends and family.
But when we feel emptiness within the pit of our souls, what can fill that?
Some people try to fill the emptiness by focusing on their careers. “All I need is a promotion to the next level, or for my pay to be raised just one level higher, and then I’ll be satisfied.” But even when the next promotion and the next raise come, the satisfaction doesn’t seem to come. “Okay, so I’ll try for the next level and maybe that’ll be ‘it’”. And so the cycle repeats itself.
Some look to psychoanalysis to try to fill the emptiness. They pay a therapist a huge hourly rate to talk through their feelings. But at the end of the day, the therapist is only human himself or herself. They can be an ear to listen, but they can’t fill the emptiness.
Some turn to stimulation of their senses. They immerse themselves into alcohol, sex, or drugs. These behaviors may provide a temporary feeling of satisfaction. But the morning after, the emptiness is greater than ever. What results is a cycle of destruction over and over again, in their vain attempt to find fulfillment.
Then Jesus declared, “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. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (Jn 6:35-37)
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” He didn’t say, “I know where you can find the bread of life.” He didn’t say, “I bring you the bread of life.” He said, “I am the bread of life.” He is the one who can fill the emptiness. But how?
For those who are willing to accept it, Jesus has provided the answer. He Himself told it to us in His own words in the Bible, and set us the example with His own life:
- Be Baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
- Receive the Holy Spirit, whom Christ has provided to us as the guarantee of your inheritance in the kingdom of God.
Once you are truly free from the bondage of sin, and clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit, your life will change. You may have the same job, the same family, and the same routine. But inside, you will feel the streams of living water filling your soul, satisfying you day by day. You will see the fruit of the Spirit making a difference in your life, filling your life with love, and joy, and peace, despite whatever happens around you. And rather than dread the specter of death, you can look forward to an eternity of joy.