"Do you know what the secret of life is?" This was the question posed by the crusty old trail boss to the "city slicker," in the popular movie of the same name. The "City Slickers," were a group of middle-aged men (and one woman) who had gone on an old-fashioned cattle drive in their quest to get away from the stress of their fast-paced lives. Holding up one finger, the trail boss answered his own question. "One thing," he said. Of course, the joke is that he never tells what the one thing is, except to say that it is something each of us must find out for ourselves.

   And in one sense, I agree. We all have different and unique God-given abilities and personalities, and we're all trying to find out what to do with them and where our place in life is. The problem is that many people never find anything that comes close to the peace that their hearts are longing for. But I believe that the secret of life is much less elusive than we tend to think. I believe not only that it is real, tangible, and obtainable, but that it is right there in front of us, waiting to reveal itself to us.

   My own personal search came to an end in August of 1980, when God revealed Himself to me through His Son Jesus Christ. When I realized the One who had created me was truly concerned about me, and was actually inviting me to become a part of His Kingdom, I was overwhelmed with joy. After committing my life to the Lord, for the first time ever, I "knew" where I had come from, and where I was going. And, in my opinion, the secret of life lies in knowing these two things.

   Before I became a Christian, I had had an insatiable desire to know who I am, and what I am doing here on this earth. It is obvious to me now that God has created each and every person with a specific plan in mind, in which all of the talents and different personalities He gave us, will be utilized. And knowing that gives us a framework for our lives - a purpose for existing.

   This world is full of knowledge and theories, information and ideas, much of which is good and useful. But until we become connected to God, there is very little meaning to it. However, when you accept your place in the Creator's Kingdom, you can then begin to understand that you are connected, in a very real sense, to everything He has done in the past, everything He is doing right now, and even all He will do in the future. But, if we leave God out of the picture, life can easily degenerate into simply seeing how many things we can collect, consume, or experience before we die.

   Mankind has labored for thousands of years, and will no doubt continue, to construct a philosophy which will bring peace apart from God. There is something about the pride and selfishness in fallen human beings that resists the very thing that will benefit them. English writer, C.S. Lewis, has compared people to automobiles. Just as man has created cars to run on gasoline, God has created people to run on Himself. And just as it would be futile to attempt to fuel a car with something other than that which it was designed to use, it is also futile for men to ignore the only One who thoroughly understands him and cares deeply for him, with the same kind of love that parents have for their children. In fact, a loving parent's unconditional love for his child is a wonderful picture of God's love for us.

   The best thing about God's love is that it never fails. Even though His people may ignore Him for many, many years, enjoying all of the blessings He has freely given, without ever thanking Him or even acknowledging His existence, He remains ever ready to forgive and accept them whenever anyone humbles themselves and opens their heart to Him.

   As one who has experienced the joy of following Christ, I hardly know where to begin in describing the glories that await those who will accept the Father's invitation to receive His Son as their Savior. Until you have stepped into the Kingdom, by faith, you can only have a vague idea of what it is like, but the Bible is full of the promises God has made to care for, provide for, and protect those who love and honor Him.

   In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, "Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him.." Can you feel His love reaching out to you? If you do, please respond by giving your heart and life to Him. When you do, I am sure that you too will find the "one thing" that will end your search for the secret of life.

"I know the plans I have for you, " declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

"The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant." Psalms 25:14

"Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28


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