Finding Meaning

From the Rector:


Over the past several months, I’ve had, what I might call, meaning-conversations with quite a few people. More than normal, to be honest. I’m not sure what has caused this spike in people wanting to talk about the core values of their lives. Perhaps it’s a sense of winter coming upon us—the end of lively warm days, the freezing of things, the movement inward to safe spaces. Perhaps it’s the confusing, tragic, and depressing state of politics and social discourse that bombards us everywhere we turn. Perhaps it’s the presence of death and sadness and grief that has touched many of our lives as of recent. I’m not sure. But what I am sure of is two things. First, to have such conversations takes courage—it takes heart. Secondly, it’s a reminder that we are all seeking three things in this life: meaning, particular purpose, and belonging. We are seeking God. This is the fundamental stuff of life and in our pursuit of safety, security, and success, we often miss out on the fundamentals of life. We say, “That person sure is successful!” By which we mean, they have a lot of money; meanwhile, their marriage is in shambles, the kids are estranged, and in honest moments, they realize the hole in them keeps growing. I’m not sure what your particular purpose is in life; I can’t answer that for you. But I do know that the meaning of our lives is to be who God has made us to be and that every one of us is hungry for belonging—a place we can be ourselves and not be judged or encouraged to become someone we are not. I want St. Tim’s to a place just like this: in faith, we are people who seek meaning, encourage purpose, and offer belonging. The world needs it and the world cannot give it. The world cannot offer things like hope, wisdom, faith, and peace. Our world bombards us with expectations, pressures, judgment and all in the name of getting us to desire what they are selling—and it’s usually a thing to be bought. You are made for so much more. Sometimes, we have to realize that the work to be done to discover our meaning and purpose and belonging is not about changing our life on the outside, but has everything to do with transforming our inner life. Our life with God and with ourselves. If you are asking yourselves these questions, as I often do to myself, I’d encourage you to move your gaze away from others, what is around us, this world, and start looking inward. As Jesus says in Luke 17:21: “the kingdom of God is among (within) you.” In a world that feels like it might be spinning out of control, I’d encourage you to turn towards what we can control, and do some inner work—it not only promises more than this world can ever offer, it also promises new life.

God bless you this week,