It's hard for those of us in the "now" generation to look ahead and consider the end of our journey. The gusto of the moment seems too much fun to think about the future. Yet have you noticed as we get farther down the road, the pleasures of sin become less exciting, and down deep in the soul there is a nauseous sense of loneliness — a yearning for true happiness that is not satisfied. This unfulfilled desire breeds restlessness, and attempts to find fleshly remedies only bring more despair.
You often see this in the lives of some celebrities. After his last show in Las Vegas, at age 44, Elvis Presley was asked by a newspaper reporter, "Elvis, when you started out you said you wanted three things out of life: to be rich . . . to be famous . . . to be happy. Are you happy?" The king of rock and roll replied, "No, I'm not happy. I'm lonely as hell"1
Remember Marilyn Monroe, the sex symbol of her day who reveled in the adjulation of her fans. Finally coming to realize the meaningless of it all, reflecting on her career, she confessed to a reporter, "Fame will go by, and so long . . . I've always known it was fickle."2 Not long after, she committed suicide.
Think of Aristotle Onassis, who through his business enterprises became at one point the most wealthy man in the world. But in interviews after the death of his son, he said: "Until now I always believed that money could give a man everything he wanted in life. But now money means nothing . . . My own life has become pointless." Wiping tears from his eyes, the broken-hearted father could only say, "What now?"3
Yes, that is the question. When the treasures we have lived for in this world have lost their luster, and the end of life's journey looms ahead, what now? The Bible has the answer. "It is appointed unto all of us once to die, and after that to face judgment." (Hebrews 9:27).
Are you ready for that day? Or is there in your soul an uncertainty, even a fear of what lies ahead. Don't you think that God has something better for you?
The Narrow Way of Life
Thankfully, there is another way - a road that truly leads to a fully satisfying life - a life abounding with joy and full of praise, life overflowing in love that grows sweeter as the years go by. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it. But Jesus tells us that "small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it."
It's not politically correct to be out of step with the majority, sometimes called in derision "narrow minded." But I have come to realize that ridicule can be expected when we choose the road of life.
1. For one thing, it's narrow because Jesus is the only way. "No one comes to the Father except "through me," He said (John 14:6). "I am the gate," He affirms, "all who ever come before me were thieves and robbers." (John 10:7-8)