The true meaning of life

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 29, 2014

I sit and look out the window this evening at grass that is turning a beautiful green. I can see some flowers in bloom and others that are in bud. The Bradford pear trees in our neighborhood are in full bloom. The redbud trees are starting to show a little color. I have finally seen some forsythia blooming. Our saucer magnolia has some beautiful blossoms. Is it really going to happen? Is spring finally going to make an appearance?
My wife and I worked in the yard last weekend trying to prepare for spring. Our butterfly bushes have become so big that I have to use a chainsaw to cut them back. We also cut back some other bushes and started the process of getting our yard ready for spring’s arrival. We have some big projects we hope to work on this year, including putting in at least one more flower bed. I want to continue adding some raised beds for the vegetables. It sure is nice to dream about the possibilities in the yard.
Soon we will be heading to garden centers to find some new treasures for our yard. I look forward to working the soil even though we have to deal with this Carolina orange clay. We are good at making things grow around here and I find the work meaningful and enjoyable. Some people I know wonder if I will continue to enjoy the work when I get older, but I think I will. I know a number of men who thoroughly enjoy making things grow in their vegetable and flower gardens.
My daily devotions have taken me into the world of Ecclesiastes. I grew weary of reading his “meaningless” observations on life. This morning I told the Lord I was going to skip ahead or maybe even out of the book and find something more meaningful to read. As I was about to turn the page I got a gentle but firm nudge to keep reading. I wanted to ignore it so I could find something more encouraging to read. Instead I chose to be obedient and press on through all the writer’s “meaningless” observations.
Then I discovered in chapter nine something that made me smile. To paraphrase and leave out some of the meaningless thoughts it said, “Go and eat your food with gladness and drink with a joyful heart. Enjoy life with your wife whom you love all the days of your life. Enjoy your labor and work at it with all your might.” There was a seed of pleasantness hidden in the ramblings of the writer.
As I reflected on his thoughts, I realized that I am a lucky man. We are blessed to have good food to eat every day. Many in this world go to bed and wake up hungry. I am blessed with a wife to love and doubly blessed because she loves me. We enjoy spending time together, especially in garden centers and out in our yard making it beautiful. We enjoy talking and sharing meals together. We look forward to every opportunity we have together.
The writer of Ecclesiastes declares that life is meaningless over and over again. I have found great meaning for my life in teaching and writing. I feel blessed to have a good job where I can teach students. Granted, there are days when I wonder why I am doing it, but overall I love my job. I am also grateful for the opportunity to write my column and my books. I find great meaning for my life in knowing that I can express myself in a way that others understand and are touched by what I write.
I believe that God wants each one of us to have a good trip through life. That means He wants us to enjoy our work, to love our spouse, and to have our daily needs met. I also believe that God wants us to enjoy our personal lives like we enjoy working in our yard. Most important God wants us to know Him and be known by Him. If you really want to find the true meaning of life, it is in having a relationship with God.
I want to encourage you to discover the meaning for your life through your relationship with God. He is the one who gave you life and He wants to give you a good trip through life. In Him and through Him you will discover true meaning. By faith in Him you will find the joy of living. The meaning of your life, hope, and joy are all available in a relationship with God.

Doug Creamer teaches Marketing at East Davidson High School. His website is located at Contact him at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or email