Is there perhaps another book close by to where you are sitting or standing at the moment? If there is, do me a favor and pick it up. It doesn’t matter what sort of book it is, just pick it up and look at it. Now take a new look at it: try to see it form a different standpoint from your normal view. Let’s suppose this book that you hold in your hand was washed up on the shore of some desert island where the natives were intelligent and culturally developed, but didn’t have an alphabet.
What would happen? They would pick up the book and they would look at the beautifully produced paper; they would look at the lithography or letterpress, and see the complicated designs of all the letters and they would think that this was a very interesting art form and would doubtless appreciate it from that standpoint.
Would they understand the book? Would they get any real benefit from the book? I hardly think so. Surely the paper and the ink marks are but a tiny shadow of the real substance of the book. The book itself exists in a higher dimension. It exists in the dimension of IDEAS.
Isn’t this the way it is with our lives? We look at the paper and the ink our lives, the living, breathing, eating, working, sleeping – all the normal functions of our lives and we say: “This is life.” Just as if we were to look at the paper and the ink of a book and say: “This is the book.” But we all know that within our lives there is a meaning, just as there is a
meaning within the book; surely the whole purpose of this life is not to be the paper and ink of the book, but to be the meaning of the book.
Our life has, first of all, to have meaning. Take another look today at the paper and ink of your life. Today you are going to get the children off to school, or you are going off to the office, and this is fine. Without the paper and the print, we couldn’t communicate the ideas in the book, but look beyond the apparent surface meaning of these everyday items in your life and see the real content of those things. Feel the real meaning of the things that you are doing.
You are created and placed on this earth to fulfill a purpose. Feel that purpose this day, reach beyond the surface meaning of your life and get a single glimpse of the purpose in back of your life.
With this single IDEA you will move towards an understanding of the whole book of life. One tiny glimpse of the purpose in your life will lead you inexorably on to the search for greater and deeper meaning; and that search is never meaningless. It always leads you to a deeper and deeper answer and it will put you a greater and more meaningful life.