In Chapter 3 (“The Challenge to the Secular”) of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Timothy Keller boldly asserts that “the secular view of life does not work for most people in the face of suffering.” Anthropologist Richard Schweder agrees, arguing that at the popular level, the older, more spiritual and traditional approaches subvert the predominant secular view.
When it comes to suffering, the contemporary mantra that life is about finding happiness just doesn’t cut it. Jewish psychiatrist Victor Frankl, who survived three years in Nazi concentration camps, observed that prisoners who were able to endure the horror “lived for meaning”, as Pastor Keller explains:
“But to ‘live for meaning’ means not that you try to get something out of life, but rather that life expects something from us. In other words, you have meaning only when there is something in life more important than your own personal freedom and happiness, something for which you are glad to sacrifice your happiness.”
Indeed, when we’ve been stripped of our ministry or vocation and have come to the end of ourselves, only faith in Jesus sustains us as we journey through our desert, transitional time.
Today’s question: To what extent has the “right to happiness” pervaded your mindset following your vocation loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the new Short Meditation, “For All the Marbles”