What are the elements of a meaningful life?

Ever heard someone say, Life seems so meaningless…

When someone says, “life seems meaningless”, do they really mean, their life seems meaningless?

If one’s life has become meaningless, naturally we feel led to ask what does a meaningful life look like? Are there core elements in a life that knows real meaning?  I believe that there are.



Interested? Then read on…


In order for a life to have true meaning and speak deeply into another, it must like a good movie, have key elements –  A plot, a villain, a conflict, a hero/heroine who struggles to overcome a conflict, and an outside ally.

The plot is what is referred to as the story line. In the story line, there is also a story behind the story. The why of the struggle. We ask ourselves, what difference will it make for others, for us, and for the hero/heroine if they reach their goal, overcome their obstacles?


Our Life’s Story

In movies, we readily identify with the hero/heroine who is the everyday, ordinary house-variety. Is it any wonder that we are drawn to movies where the most unlikely person is the central figure in the story?  Don’t they often remind us of ourselves?  In the story of life, we are the hero/ heroine.

A movie’s plot isn’t a good story unless there is a problem to be solved, an enemy to be overcome. There is always a villain present to create obstacles and increase the conflict.  The greater the conflict in the story the more intense becomes our interest. We feel captive, stuck to our seats.

As the struggle ensues, we find ourselves rooting for the hero to find a way to overcome. Can he/she do it? What will it take to succeed? Will our hero find a way out before the 12th hour?

It’s the same in real life. The villain is the negative factors, circumstances, or persons who distract or tempt us to settle for less than discovering a life full of real meaning and purpose. 

All of these elements are present in a good story.  And so it comes as no surprise that real life is like a good story.


In Real Life, there are no Lone Rangers…


However, as in a good story, every hero/heroine needs an ally, an outside force to help overcome the obstacles.

In real life, there is a Writer outside ourselves, plotting a better story for us.  His name is Emmanuel, “God with us,” the Triune God of the Universe. Each person of the Trinity offers to walk alongside us to write a story intertwined to HIs-story. One that draws purpose from His life and attracts others to our source. 

Like the proverbial hero/heroine, we must decide to invite Him into our story and face our inner foes. If not, fear will only serve to paralyze us from taking action.

In the midst of crises, when someone asks, “Where is God in all of this?”  I believe He is right there waiting for an invitation to rewrite our life story, one of victory over not only the enemy without but the foe within. 

Have you ever read what the Son of God came to do?  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10.10. 

Someone has said that while God wants to be our ally to find purposeful and meaningful lives, there is a god (an arch enemy) seducing people to live meaningless lives.


Let’s Reflect

  • Have you invited your divine Creator into your story to breathe life into all of its parts?
  • How is your story reflecting His story – pointing others to  Emmanuel, “God with us“?
  • Are you relying on God for strength to respond to the trials, doubts, & conflicts in your story?
  • What difference will it make for others, for God’s story,  when you discover & follow your life purpose? 

P.S. Whether you’re battling to overcome obstacles without or within, or working to clearly define a life purpose you also need a human ally, a friend, a guide. God has called us to live in relationships, in community. We are designed to need others. After all, life is meant to be meaningful not meaningless.









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