The purpose of any lock on a given door is dually defined, either to keep someone out, or to keep someone in. It may be to protect the thing inside, or to protect the thing outside from the thing inside. The lock in itself doesn’t necessarily define the meaning of its existence, it is after all, just the lock. Therefore its meaning, or purpose, is defined by the thing it protects, or serves; that which is wholly outside of the lock. In this way, the lock is not self-determining, rather the owner of the lock determines its meaning. The lock can spend its whole day by agonizing over whether it is a good lock or a bad lock, whether it is truly living out its intended purpose in life, or whether it should have been used to lock a larger more significant door, or even deserving of the door it is locking. But all of these thoughts and emotions on the part of the lock would be meaningless, since the lock has no part in any of it.
In fact, the most significant part of any lock is its counterpart: the Key. The key is like the lock in that its meaning or definition is dual in nature: it either opens the lock, or locks it. The key itself is exactly like the lock in that it too can waste time asking and trying to answer similar questions the lock asked, but these are just as futile for the key. Both the lock and the key find ultimate meaning in their use by the owner of each item. Power is in the one who locks and unlocks. The owner using this power, inherent in holding the key, brings meaning to either as He deems fit.
It seems to me that when we search for the meaning of our life without examining whether we are locked up or free, the natural result or conclusions are meaningless. I suggest we are all locked up in our pursuit of meaning and purpose, while ignoring the very things that bind us from discovery. We are locked up because we think foolishly we hold the keys to everything that would make us happy. We are locked up because we think putting on “religious” attitudes, or wearing “pious” clothes, or donning pretentious “masks,” will set us free. We are all locked up because whatever thing you are holding onto that you think is a key of happiness, is actually the lock that keeps you enslaved.
This existence of human experience has but one purpose or meaning. We were created to bring glory to God the creator. When we search for keys to unlock doors leading anywhere but to this truth, we remain enslaved to a meaningless life. When we pursue our purpose with wholly committed hearts to bring God glory with every fiber of our existence, He alone uses the key called “Grace” to unlock a beautiful existence designed specifically for us as His children. Every day we have this choice, to live in God’s grace and to extend God’s glory to the ends of the earth.
When its over, life as we know it, will your life have had meaning? Who determines this answer? You? No. God alone holds the keys. He said so. Jesus said to His disciples:
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
This same apostle recorded the words of Jesus in the beginning chapter of The Book of Revelation, and guess what He talked about… yep, KEYS!
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. He laid His right hand on me and said,
“Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look–I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades. Therefore write what you have seen, what is, and what will take place after this.”
We are God’s highest creation. We mean more to him than simple objects like locks and keys. Yet to find our meaning in life requires a higher level of thinking and understanding than most people are willing to give. It also requires knowing who “actually” controls the locks and keys… of life itself.
If you would like a brief glimpse inside this passage click here: Revelation 1_17-19
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Ask those who know me really well, and they will confirm for you, I’ve never been a very patient person. My kids learned their driving habits from me, so I’ve no one to blame but myself when they drive too fast. I used to drive really fast, and loose, and a little on the edge. I’m older and wiser now, but occasionally I’ll still need to lighten up on the accelerator, if you know what I mean. This lack of patience sometimes leaks over into other aspects of my past, present, and future.
I was so in a hurry to get through college, so that I could go on to Seminary. I knew I was headed there, so why focus on the now, when where I really want to be is there. In Seminary I was always in a hurry to get through each semester, so I could graduate, and get on with being a Pastor. Unfortunate circumstances (translation life-interruptus) caused there to be a 20 year hiatus on finishing that degree. I spent most of that 20 years in the computer industry as a career, and serving my ministry desires through lay-ministry in the church we attended at the time.
When I finally got the opportunity to go into ministry full time, and later finish my Master of Divinity education, then a Doctor of Ministry degree, I pursued each of these with the same vigor and lack of patience as before. I’ve been a driven person most of my life, always trying to go faster, faster, faster. I wasn’t trying to run ahead of God, so much as I just wanted to get there faster.
It reminds me a little of the disciples wanting Jesus to quit taking so much time setting up His earthly kingdom. They asked him after the resurrection, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” [Acts 2:6] They were wanting to get there faster. The reply from Jesus is something we should really focus on here, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;“[Acts 2:7] Part of the problem with having this “faster” mentality is thinking God is just a slow-poke. But Jesus helps them (and us) understand that it isn’t just “kingdom” things that God has fixed in time, but that each minute of our lives is accounted for under God’s sovereign authority. God saw me before I was born. He knows the number of my days. Don’t take my word for it, look at Psalm 139:16 – “Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.”
Today, most days, because we think God is a slow-poke, we become impatient about life, always wishing we could get “there” (wherever there is) faster, faster, faster. In fact it’s easy to get all wrapped up in “end of days” mentality, wishing God would get it all over with already, so we can all go be with Him in heaven. Trust me when I say, God isn’t even “nearly” through saving people yet! Peter tells us, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” [2 Peter 3:9] God isn’t about to end human history until all the humans who will be saved… are saved. God’s will is that all come to repentance.
So if you’re one of those who likes to see timelines and deadlines in the Book of Revelation, then let me offer you a small bit of advice. Slow down. Read the book, and study the book differently. It isn’t all about judgment and just getting to heaven. It is about God saving people who will say “yes” to His grace, even in the worst seven-year period of human history… the end of days. I can help you with this, if you’d like. Click to read more. BOOK