What are we living for?
Bohemian Rhapsody took cinemas by storm late in 2018: the movie recounting of the story of super group Queen and its lead singer, Freddie Mercury. They had such worldwide hits as: ‘We are the Champions’, ‘We will rock you’, ‘Crazy little thing called love’ and, of course, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ among others. Mercury, who died of AIDS at the end of 1991, wrote in one of his last songs on The Miracle album:
“Does anybody know what we are living for?”
The same question was asked 100 years before by Leo Tolstoy who wrote what the Encyclopedia Britannica describes as “one of the two or three greatest novels in world literature”: War and Peace. But he also wrote a book in 1879 called A Confession, which tells the story of his search for meaning and purpose in life.
Rejecting Christianity as a child, Tolstoy left university seeking pleasure. In Moscow and St Petersburg, he drank heavily, lived promiscuously, and gambled frequently. His ambition was to become wealthy and famous, but nothing satisfied him. In 1862, he married a loving wife and had 13 children; he was surrounded by what appeared to be complete happiness. Yet one question haunted him to the verge of suicide: “Is there any meaning in my life which will not be annihilated by the inevitability of death, which awaits me?”
Nicky Gumbel, in the Questions of Life, explains what triggered Tolstoy’s conversion to Christianity this way …
“He searched for the answer in every field of science and philosophy. As he looked around at his contemporaries, he saw that people were not facing up to the first-order questions of life (“Where did I come from?” “Where am I going?” “Who am I?” “What is life all about?”). Eventually he found that the peasant people of Russia had been able to answer these questions through their Christian faith, and he came to realize that only in Jesus Christ do we find the answer.”
The question still haunts us ion the 21st century as we see school shootings, political instability, social media rants and much more. The answer remains the same too. The Lord Jesus Christ shouts out loud throughout history with this invitation from
John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Do you know Jesus? There is no better way to live. Choose today.
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