From guest writer Rob Moore. Thank you Rob for sharing a good word!
Back in the mid-1980s, during my college years, I was introduced to the rock band The Tubes by my roommate Rick from Cleveland. Everything about The Tubes screamed controversial, from the risqué back cover of their self-titled first album (an actual LP album) to the somewhat salacious lyrics. As a young man in college, I ate it up. One of their more interesting songs was entitled “What do you want from life?” As with many of The Tubes selections, it is probably best summed up as a satirical view of American culture. In this case, the songwriters parody our affluent, materialistic society and its endless search for meaning and fulfillment. A society that, by the way, hasn’t improved since the mid-1970s, when the album came out. Many would argue that it’s gotten far worse.
For those wondering, here’s a sample of the lyrics from the song:
“What do you want from life? An Indian guru to show you the inner light? What do you want from life? A meaningless love affair with a girl that you met tonight? How can you tell when you’re doin’ alright? Does your bank account swell while you’re dreaming at night? What do you want from life? Someone to love and somebody you can trust? What do you want from life? To try and be happy while you do the nasty things you must?
Well, enough about The Tubes, but they do bring up what I consider to be a thought-provoking question. What do we want from life, and how does one define life in the first place? Ours is of course not the first highly-materialistic, self-centered society. But it certainly feels like America has been in a morass of moral decline for quite a while. And when we measure life or quality thereof by the standards of the world we inevitably demean and devalue it. Quick survey: Mother Teresa or Princess Diana – which had the better quality of life?
And what constitutes “life” in the first place. For example, did Terri Schiavo have any right to life? Or, for that matter do the unborn? Where will it end? My personal belief is that the sanctity of life is so immeasurably valuable that we must preserve and protect it from conception to natural death. I maintain that this best represents the Biblical view of life on this earth.
But we must also remember that this temporal life, as Pastor Joseph Stowell has said, is the shorter and more brutish of the two [meaning this life and the life to come]. On an X-Y graph of your life, time on earth would not even be distinguishable! And we think 80 years is a long life; it’s just the beginning. Sometimes we are guilty of short-sightedness.
But therein lies the irony, if we may call it that (God probably thinks there’s nothing ironic about it at all). Life is a vapor, a mist that is here one second and gone the next, as the Bible tells us (James 4:14). Yet this life contains the only opportunity to secure eternity with our Creator God in Heaven. And for those of us in the ark of safety, saved by the blood of Jesus, it contains the only opportunity to spread the good news to others so that God may save them too. Sense of urgency, anyone?
What do you want from life? I want to make an impact for Christ and His Kingdom during my time here, no matter how long. I want my sin to decelerate as my age accelerates. I want to guard the faith and then pass it down to my grandchildren. Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds? “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” [Phil 1:21]
To God be the Glory