It’s no secret that our culture is obsessed with finding the good life. Look no further than the self-help section at your local bookstore. Whether it’s career, family, relationships, or any other area of interest, there are no shortage of people willing to tell you what to change so you don’t miss out on the best life has to offer. All for a small fee, of course.
But no matter how much you add, subtract, or change, the good life still seems like the proverbial carrot, dangling ever within your sight yet just beyond your reach. Satisfaction and fulfillment always slipping through your fingers.
That’s why even when you finally marry the “right” person, move into that dream house, or land a job you love, it still feels, well, incomplete. Sure, these things are nice. Don’t get me wrong . . . they can be downright wonderful at times. But deep down, there’s this nagging feeling that says, “Really? This is it? I thought there would be more!”
And so, without even realizing it, we set our sights on the next thing. We jump on Social Media and see that our friends just took a romantic, three-week trip to Europe. Perhaps that’s what’s missing, we think to ourselves. I’ll finally find fulfilment in France! But these existential aspirations are like the horizon—no matter how quickly and how long we move toward it, it remains in the distance.
I believe the reason the good life eludes us is because we’re consumed with chasing its shadow.
If we aren’t careful, even as Christians, we can get swept up in the world’s continual pursuit of more, next, and better. It’s an exhausting way to live.
This isn’t theory to me. I’m 33, and though I have much life to live, trust me when I say I’ve walked many of these roads myself. I know where they lead. And I’ve found myself still looking for more.
Many of us miss out on life because we are looking for a better version of what we’ve known. But the good life we all crave is paradoxical and reaches beyond the wisdom of this world. God’s not interested in just giving us a “better” life. He’s not a self-help guru looking to make a quick buck off our nominal improvement. He’s after something far more valuable. He wants to give us true life—His life.
You see, at the end of the day, I’ve come to realize that the good life—the one we’re all searching for on a soul level, isn’t something we find, but someone we become. We don’t wake up one day and realize we’ve arrived there, that we’ve finally made it. Rather, we discover the good life as we reject general ideas of goodness in exchange for something more.
That’s why the good life is only found as we embrace the journey of becoming our true selves—the people God had in mind when he created us. The early church used the word “Saint” to describe this wondrous way of being—a life that awakens the eternity that was written on our hearts by filling our everyday lives with meaning and purpose.
Other ideas of the good life might sell books—but they won’t give you the life you so deeply long for. Only God can do that. For indeed, only God is That.