The meaning of life

The other day I saw an advert for an open top car which drew my interest.  On one side of the hoarding it showed the open top car, and underneath were the words “open is good”.  On the other side of the poster there was a picture of a closed book all bound up in string.  The title of the book was “The Meaning of Life”.  Underneath were the words “closed is bad”.  The implication was that “the meaning of life” or the reason why we are here was closed and unknown.  How wrong that poster is!  The Bible gives the meaning of life very simply – we have been created in order to have a relationship and friendship with our Creator, who loves us so much.  It further teaches that until we allow our Creator into our hearts and lives we will never have peace either in our hearts or in our lives.  Jesus stated in Revelations Chapter 3 Verse 20, “Behold I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears  My voice and opens the door I will come into him.”  This most beautiful of invitations reminds us that Jesus is knocking on the door of our hearts seeking a personal living relationship with us.  When we let Him into our hearts it changes us at the deepest level of our being and it begins a relationship which will last forever.  But there is one condition!  We have to be willing to let Him in.  He won’t force the relationship – it is up to us how we respond to this Divine Love Story.

Recently I came across this modern day parable which at first seems a “nonsense story”.  Only when one gets to the end does it become clear that it is conveying a profound message.  Once upon a time there was a man who carried brightly coloured balloons everywhere he went.  He enjoyed watching them float above his head and he never let them go.  The people at his work were accustomed to seeing them – they didn’t mind  because it brightened up the office.  At night the balloons would float above the man as he slept.

One day the balloon man was surprised to discover that he had won a free ocean cruise.  He was so excited. On the morning of the big day of departure he called a taxi.  The driver had to take him to the dock very slowly because not all the balloons would fit into the taxi.  He had to hold some out of the window!  When he got on board, he realised how hungry he was.  Just then, the dinner bell went.  He walked towards the dining room on the second deck.  The aroma of food was so exciting.  There was one problem though!  Whoever had designed the ship hadn’t left enough room for a man with a handful of balloons to get down the passageway.  He could do it if he released some of the balloons, but he was too fond of them to do that.  He wandered back to the upper deck. He was still hungry – but at least he still had his balloons.  When night time came, he was conducted to his cabin.  It was beautiful and the bed looked so inviting, but unfortunately the door to the cabin was so designed that he couldn’t get all his balloons in without breaking some! He reluctantly went back on deck.  There he found some blankets and a deck chair.  What an uncomfortable night he had – but at least he still had his balloons!

The next morning the balloon man received an engraved invitation from the Captain of the ship. He had been personally invited to dine at the Captain’s table and enjoy the speciality of a world 
famous chef.  It was to be prepared especially for the balloon man.  All day the balloon man watched the preparations for the evening banquet.  How exciting it all looked, but of course he couldn’t get in with his balloons!  Finally, the dinner bell sounded and happy passengers made their way to the banquet.  The balloon man just stood there. He looked at the engraved invitation from the Captain, then he looked at his balloons.  It was hard to do at first, but slowly one by one he let the balloons go. As he watched them drift out of sight, what a sense of relief he felt.  He felt as though a burden had been lifted.  He walked into the dining room and as a guest at the Captain’s table, enjoyed the finest meal and best companionship he had ever known.

The moral of the parable is clear.  Some people hang on to a handful of balloons which keep them from being close to Jesus.  Those balloons have different names – they might be “pride”, “anger”, “bitterness”, “bad habits”, “lust”, “possessions” etc etc.  To accept the Saviour’s invitation and allow Him into our hearts we may have to let go of certain things.  We must be willing to “let go” of things in order to have a real relationship with Him.  The meaning of life is clear, but if individuals want to fulfil their God given destiny depends on whether they are willing to let go of their own personal balloons!