Man’s search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life.
—Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
There is a longing deep within every man’s heart to discover meaning and purpose in life; to lead a life of significance as opposed to a life of “success”; to live a life of adventure, conquest, and victory; to make a difference and leave a positive, enduring mark on the world. Yet, as Henry David Thoreau observed, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Although Thoreau penned these words more than a century ago, they still ring true today. So many men—including devoted Christian men—wake up one day and realize they are leading lives of quiet desperation, silently “losing themselves” as they strive to meet unrealistic expectations, overcome mounting work and family pressures, and battle unrelenting temptations. These challenges can easily sidetrack men, causing them to lose their spiritual focus.
Whether consciously or unconsciously, many men subsequently spend their time and energy and resources searching for significance in pursuits and people and things that can never fully satisfy. Some simply give up on ever finding lasting meaning and purpose in this world. Others find themselves somewhere in between. In any case, the result is often the same: a pervading sense of exhaustion, futility, or hopelessness.
Yet there is a remedy to this cultural epidemic, and it is found in reclaiming and living out every man’s true purpose, which is found in God alone. As Saint Augustine wrote, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” The apostle Paul expressed it this way: “Everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible . . . everything got started in [Christ] and finds its purpose in him” (Colossians 1:16 The Message).
365 Meditations for Men by Men is intended to help men focus on their relationship with God and, consequently, find real meaning and purpose in life. Twelve different Christian men share their reflections on what it means to be a man who seeks to follow Christ each and every day. Drawing upon the lives of men in the Bible as well as their own personal experiences, the writers present timeless truths and valuable life lessons that will speak to men of every age and experience. In addition to offering inspiration and encouragement, they provide counsel on practical matters such as how to
· know God;
· get your priorities in order;
· become spiritually fit;
· be holy and righteous;
· make a difference;
· be equipped;
· step up;
· take risks;
· stand firm;
· serve God wholeheartedly.
As you make your way through the year (whether you start in January or June), you will be undergirded by a sense of brotherhood—an assurance that you are not alone on this journey. With this confidence, may you boldly and courageously pursue a full and abundant life in Christ!
- S. D. Sharpe, editor