Discuss: How to Find Meaning

Join Zacharias Institute Dean of Studies Dr. Jo Vitale for The Saturday Session. Drawing on the four pillars commonly used to define our sense of meaning–belonging, purpose, transcendence, and storytelling–Jo examines each pillar to ask whether such foundations are strong enough to prop up a truly meaningful life; what if it was never about the meaning we make, but the meaning who made us?

One characteristic that appears to be uniquely true of human beings is that we are meaning-seeking creatures. Our difficulty, however, lies in knowing where to find it.

Is meaning something that we make, or is it something we were made for?

Today we live in a world of sand artists. Identity, sexual orientation, gender, feelings, truth, beliefs, everything is fluid today. It might look one way, but who’s to say that tomorrow it won’t take a completely different shape. “The only contours defining your life are the ones that you set for yourself.”

The trouble with putting your purpose in a cause is that even the most just of causes rely on unjust causes: they rely upon the character and the conviction of fallible human beings, and that is some very shifting sand indeed.

In a generation that is constantly being told to take charge and make their own meaning, only to find themselves in a world spiraling out of control, people are desperately searching for a secure place in a grander story.

Belonging, purpose, transcendence, storytelling; each is a good desire, but relying on ourselves to find meaning in them leaves us with only those fractured remnants of a far deeper reality. Perhaps we’ve had it backwards; perhaps we’ve been doing everything the wrong way around. What if it was never about the meaning we make, but the meaning who made us?

The only way to have a life full of meaning is to have a life full of Jesus.

Make it Personal

  • Do you find yourself trying to make meaning for yourself, through belonging, through purpose, through transcendence, through storytelling?

  • How can we communicate to the world around us that this “sand art” of meaning is ultimately meaningless, that meaning is only found in the rock that is Jesus?

  • How can we use the good things in belonging, purposes, transcendence, and storytelling to point to Jesus, the one in whom these all have their goodness and meaning?