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September 16, 2011

A friend was telling me something over lunch today that peaked my attention. He said his job sent him to Singapore for eight months. The company paid $8,000/month for a very luxurious two bedroom place for his stay, the place was packed with all sort of amenities, maid service that came and did all the cleaning, a shofer picked him up every morning to drive him to his office, all paid restaurant meals, travels to nearby countries on weekends and during his day offs to visit and relax. Everything was just perfect. What he said next was what peaked my interest the most. He said, ' It was the most boring and frustrating eight months of my life.'  

Boring? Frustrating? you would not expect to hear these kinds of words in this situation. He was bored and frustrated not because there were some situations causing the frustration. As explained above, he was leading a lifestyle millions of people can't even dream of having. He is on top of his game by the world's standard. This is a kind of lifestyle we all aspire and work so hard to get to. The big point to ponder after hearing what he said is; once we acquire everything in life, then what? will we automatically attain happiness, joy, satisfaction, hope, purpose, contentment, peace? Hardly! Infect, this might be when people become even more frustrated in life because all  those impossible dreams and aspirations that made one believe they would bring happiness from a distance, once attained, they are also empty. I am not advocating for poverty, laziness or am not against luxury, and leading a good life. Not at all. I strongly believe that we need to work hard to be successful in what ever we do and enjoy life on this earth. But the point I am trying to make is, there is more to life than just success from the world's standard and enjoying just material possessions. If the money and luxury of the world would satisfy humanity, we would hear no complaints from so many who have it all. Just take a look at Hollywood. They literally have everything life can offer  : millions of dollars they don't know what to do with, good look, fame, connections, etc. But is Hollywood the most satisfied place on earth? Not really. in fact, it might be one of the most dissatisfied place on the face of the earth.  Because, obviously,  life is much more than attaining material success.
How can we lead a happy, satisfied, content and purposeful life then?

God gave His one and only son to die for us on the cross so we live a meaningful, joyful and purposeful life. Jesus paid all the needed penalty so we do not have to. Making Jesus the Savior as well as the Lord of our life is the first and most important step. Then the reason for our existence on this earth starts making full sense. Our priorities will change by itself. What we like and disklike will change. What is important in life will automatically change. Joy, peace and purpose will start filling our heart. God gave his son Jesus Christ as an ultimate gift for the world.

 Life on this earth is very short. Chasing luxury, money and fame without having God as a priority in life is like chasing the wind. It is vanity. As soon as you have it, it has nothing in it, just empty. But when God takes the first priority in life, everything else become enjoyable. There is nothing new under the Sun, generation after generation, things come and go. Only the Love, Grace and mercy of God is new every day.  True satisfaction comes only from God.
The writer of the book of Ecclesiastic puts it this way:

" Meaningless! Meaningless!”
   says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
   Everything is meaningless.”  
What do people gain from all their labors
   at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
   but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
   and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
   and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
   ever returning on its course.....
..What has been will be again,
   what has been done will be done again;
   there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say,
   “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
   it was here before our time." “Ecclesiastic 1: 2-10             
               And the writer concludes this way:
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind." 12: 13-14

Aspiring to lead a comfortable life is a good thing. Aspiring to live a life of Conviction for the things of God is even greater. Choose God today to make Him the center of your life!

God bless.

Anteneh Mitiku/Boston USA