“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19
So, is there a quality of life that is not life indeed? Is there a make-believe life that has no real substance? God’s wording, through Paul, certainly suggests this. How unnerving it is to think that the years and hours we spend assessing the options around us, pursuing our choices, and seeking significance could be pursuing a mirage! Like a movie set, the things we spend our precious lives acting among we later discover to be only false building faces with nothing behind them.
“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” Matthew 7:26-27
Certainly, we would serve ourselves well to carefully discard worthless things from our lives, though they might be outwardly attractive. Only by doing this will we have the time and energy to pursue that which is of eternal substance.
The first crucial choice we must make in life is whether or not we will yoke ourselves with our Creator. We do this by receiving His gift of eternal life contained in the person of Jesus, God-in-the-Flesh. The apostle John viewed this to be so important that he did not consider life without Christ to be any real life at all.
“And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” 1 John 5:11-12
Once we have received this gift of eternal life, we then can begin to experience it this side of heaven as God intended, as we learn to love what He loves and to pursue those things. Likewise, to hate what He hates and flee from those. As Matthew put it (above), wisely acting on the principles God gave us for living is building upon the Rock. These things are those of permanent importance. The Bible is full of innumerable ways we can live according to His values: prioritizing our dependent relationship with God, yielding to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we go through life, seeking to represent His wisdom and grace to those lost sheep around us, relieving suffering, and encouraging the dismayed.
We will find, both in this life and in the next, this is not pursuing a mirage, but that it is life indeed.