The richest man in the world once exclaimed: “Meaningless, meaningless, utterly meaningless, everything is meaningless!” He had wealth, women, worship of people, leadership, and authority and yet he said everything is meaningless. From time to time, we do feel like our lives lack meaning. It is normal.
The problem comes when we have prolonged periods of time carrying this feeling. If we do not do something urgent to scratch that CD and interrupt that aura, then indeed a life that lacks meaning becomes part and parcel of us.
It is therefore important for us to be deliberate and intentional about injecting meaning into our lives. In the previous eight episodes, I covered seven methods you can use to get this done. As the message has kept simmering in my spirit, I have reflected on two more ways to inject meaning into our lives.
Let’s deal with one of those ways today, but first, let’s have a recap of what has been discussed so far. To inject meaning into life,
Do you know what I have realized? Humanity needs to learn to appreciate each other. It is one of the most potent ways of injecting meaning into our lives. We covered part of this in the lesson under ‘Rewards’. However, I have noticed that if we flip this appreciation on its head, we get reverence and gratitude in life.
“Do you know what I have realized? Humanity needs to learn to appreciate each other. It is one of the most potent ways of injecting meaning into our lives.”— Lawrence Namale
Before we can go further with that thought, let me draw your attention to how mighty appreciation and recognition is when it is given at the right time to a person exemplifying meaning:
A young man was an organist in a large church in Texas. He was a fine musician, but, being blind, was unable to read in the faces of his audience the great pleasure his music was giving. His caressing touch on the keyboard sent out through its great pipes the songs of his soul. People would talk to each other about the beauty and the uplifting influence of his music. Often his music sent tears down furrowed cheeks. But no one ever thought to tell the organist, who was longing to hear a word of response.
One morning it was announced that he would not play after that service. His decision was final; another organist must be secured. After the service a woman who had enjoyed his music thoroughly went up to him, and said, very earnestly, “I am sorry you will not play for us any longer. I have enjoyed your music so much. It helped me greatly; it soothed and comforted me when I sorrowed. I have thought many times I would tell you what an inspiration I have received through your music. I thank you for it.”
The young man’s voice faltered and tears rushed to his sightless eyes as he whispered, “Oh, why didn’t you tell me sooner? I needed comfort and inspiration, too.”—E-Sword, 2000+ Illustrations of preaching
It takes a misfortune to understand that what was already available was gold enough to inject meaning into our lives. When you lose that job, you want to do your absolute best for the next one, but when you had it, you were taking it for granted.
I could list this and that including loved ones, property, opportunities, money, health, friendship, peace and so on to illustrate my point. At times, the meaning of life is forgotten in our ever-complicating life and fulfilment when we seek it from far away than where we are now.
“At times, the meaning of life is forgotten in our ever-complicating life and fulfilment when we seek it from far away than where we are now.”— Lawrence Namale
And in so doing, we take for granted what we have, and, in the process, we feel there is no meaning in life. I do believe that if we started deliberately counting our blessings one by one, we will not go so far as to realize that there is so much depth and meaning in our lives in what we already possess.
When your health deteriorates and you find yourself in and out of hospital wards, you realize that the meaning of life was exemplified in the health that you took for granted at the time you thought life was meaningless.
When your finances get messed up and you find yourself under tremendous pressure that you are not creative, you realize that there was so much meaning in life when you did have your finances in a healthy state, but you took it for granted. Instead, you were feeling useless because you wanted more money.
“I do believe that if we started deliberately counting our blessings one by one, we will not go so far as to realize that there is so much depth and meaning in our lives in what we already possess.”— Lawrence Namale
Therefore, let us learn to inject meaning into our lives by deliberately practising the attitude of gratitude, especially in the moments that we feel no need to be grateful. Don’t take your children for granted. Don’t take your wife for granted. Or your job, or your property, health or your peace.
What happens next when you have deeply harnessed the power of gratitude is that you will be forced to act with a lot of meaning towards what you already have going. You will no longer be stuck with things that you do not have, thinking that those are the ones that will give you meaning in life when they come.
“What happens next when you have deeply harnessed the power of gratitude is that you will be forced to act with a lot of meaning towards what you already have going.”— Lawrence Namale