What is “life”? It’s hard to define; yet, it hasn’t stopped people from trying. “Life is a bowl of cherries”; “Life is the pits”; “Life is unfair”; “Life is its own journey”; “Life is what you make it.”
None of the above describes life fully. To fully understand the meaning of life — we turn to Jesus Christ. Jesus says: “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life” and “I AM the Resurrection and the Life.”
Life, according to the Bible, is composed of the two “R’s” — RELATIONSHIP and REALITY!
In the beginning, God created man and woman in His own likeness; Then, God breathed into them His own holy breath. Then, and only then, did Adam and Eve come to life.
From the beginning there was this Relationship, this Holy Bond, this togetherness. Next, God created a Garden for His children to live in; and God walked with them and he worked with them — re-affirming that Relationship, that holy bond.
In Eden, life was good, it was satisfying, it was enjoyable, it was fulfilling, it was rewarding, it was Heavenly. Adam and Eve looked forward to spending time with their Heavenly Father; they worshiped Him and adored Him, and found satisfaction in serving Him. Life is about Relationship; without that relationship with God there is no life!
Life is also about Reality: recognizing what is real; accepting what is real; dealing with what is real. Adam and Eve accepted these Realities — God is real; God’s love is real; God’s truths/commandments are real. Only God is to be worshipped and served. As long as they accepted these Realities, they had life!
Alas, Adam and Eve were tempted to sin. Through their disobedience, they broke the holy bond between themselves and God. Through their rebellion, they traded holiness for un-holiness. Because of their sin, Adam and Eve left Eden, the real world, and created their own Dream-Land and Fantasy-World.
Dream-Land. Sometimes, we’re asleep and we dream. At times, we think that what we’re dreaming is real — it’s not. People who live in Dream-Land have no sense of Reality and cannot form Relationships. The good news is that these people can be awakened from their Dreams, face Reality, and return to a loving Relationship with the Lord god.
Fantasy-World. A world created by them and for them. Here, they are their own god. They control everything and everyone who enters their Fantasy-World. These people often attempt to force their world-view on others, to force them into their fantasy.
In Fantasy-World, Relationships are self-centered; Reality is shunned; Truth is denied; facts are ignored. People who live in Fantasy-World rarely come out of it — to do so, they would have to accept the Reality that there is a Creator God, the Reality of their sin, their need to repent and to re-establish a relationship with their Heavenly Father. That is NOT going to happen!
People who live in Dream-Land or Fantasy-World are NOT alive, they are merely existing — taking up time and space until Death ends it all!
As for me, I prefer to accept Reality and to have a Relationship with the Lord God and to be alive.
(Dr. Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist pastor in Missouri.)