This week many people are mourning the death of Ravi Zacharias. He was a well-known apologist. An apologist is someone who is skilled at making a reasoned defense of something—in this case, Christianity.
He had a sharp mind and a compassionate heart. Although I never met him, I’ve watched several of his videos and read many of his books.
Here is one of his insights: “It is not pain that has driven the West into emptiness; it has been the drowning of meaning in the oceans of pleasures.”*
In other words, the reason many people in western countries feel like their lives are empty is because they’ve filled them with things that give them pleasure.
Sure, some pleasures are good. But when we spend so much time and energy on what makes us feel good and happy in the moment, we risk missing out on something more—namely, a meaningful relationship with God, and the meaningful work he has called us to do in this short life on earth.
In his search for wisdom, the writer of Ecclesiastes articulated it like this: “I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 2:1).
In Christ, our lives are never empty. They are full. Sometimes they are happy; sometimes they are not. But always, they are meaningful.
To the glory of God, and for the healing of the world.
By Matthew Ruttan, with thanks to Ravi Zacharias
–‘Up!’ is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on May 28.
–*As quoted in: Ravi Zacharias, Jesus Among Other Gods (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2000), 137.