The Search for Meaning

One of the most impactful sentences in the very moving book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl was about hope for the future. He wrote that “The prisoner who had lost faith in the future – his future – was doomed. With his loss of belief in the future, he also lost his spiritual hold; he let himself decline and became subject to physical and mental decay.” The setting of the book of course was a concentration camp in WWII.

Flash forward to the 21st century. Many workers talk as if their work is a prison. One friend years ago called his work “soul sucking”. Yet, work is as much a part of human needs as food,warmth, beauty, rest, friendships and love. Work is food for the soul. Without meaningful work we sense feel a significant aimlessness, emptiness or hunger. When people who are cut off from work because of physical or other reasons they almost immediately discover how much they need work to thrive as a human being… to feel human.

In fact it’s clear in the book of Genesis that God’s design for humanity was a cycle of work and rest. Work was not a punishment due to the fall of Adam and Eve. God in fact patterned work for us. He worked 6 days and rested 1 day. Real rest. It’s apparent that we were designed by God to work both for survival  (to earn our daily bread) and also to live full human lives.

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