When I was little, my two brothers and I came up with a game called Keep Up The Balloon. The basic idea was to keep an inflated balloon from hitting the playroom floor by tapping it up into the air. The rules were simple. No holding onto the balloon and no more than 2 taps in a row by 1 person. To increase our fun, we tapped the balloon as far away from us as we could and then eagerly dove to make a great save. Obviously, it didn’t require a great deal of intelligence to play this game nor did it serve any real purpose. In fact, the game was basically meaningless. In the end, we knew the balloon would hit the floor and stay there no matter how many rug burns we got while trying to keep it aloft.
Have you ever felt that life is one big game of Keep Up The Balloon? A lot of rushing around tapping at our health, our job, our family, our friends and our holidays trying to keep it all going. Trying to keep our life from hitting the ground. The rules of the game tell us we can’t actually hold on to anything in this life and we know that life will eventually hit the ground when we die but…maybe if we work really hard and play really hard our life will actually gain some meaning. Surely life can’t really be this meaningless…can it?
Did you know the Bible tells us that life “under the sun” is meaningless? “Under the sun” is a phrase that refers to life without God. Life that ignores God, ignores his holy commandments, ignores sin and ignores Jesus Christ the only Saviour of sinners. Living life “under the sun” is called “striving after the wind.” This kind of life is frustrating because the wise person with a good education and the foolish person who wasted their mind on substance abuse are both defeated by death. It’s frustrating because if someone works really hard and earns a great deal of wealth they’ll just have it leave it to someone else…and that person might waste it all. Or what about when someone in power uses that power to harm others? Or what if I have great success and achieve all my dreams of fame and fortune? Then I have to deal with everyone else who’s jealous of me or tries to take what I have. It’s exhausting trying to guard and maintain success.
Jesus invited, “Come unto me all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” He promised, “All that the Father gives to me will come to me and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” Jesus claimed, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
By Pastor Allen Beardmore