the answer to life, the universe, and everything


Have you ever looked up at a night sky away from the city? Stared out, alone, at an ocean? Failed at something you saw as important? Then you’re probably one of the 7 billion people in the world asking, what is the meaning of life? the universe? and… everything?

According to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and Google, the answer is 42. 🙂 According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the answer is “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Here are some really awesome verses that tell the Bible’s answer to the question on everybody’s minds:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13

One thing I ask from the LORD,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

And this is eternal life: that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:7-11

For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Romans 14:7-9

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:25-26

2 thoughts on “the answer to life, the universe, and everything

  1. This is what life is about: Blood sweat and tears; effort, failure and striving; eating, sleeping, farting and defecating; defeat and dejection; little machinations around permutations; fun and games; going for the prize; not going for the prize; victory against the odds; loss and gain; gain and loss; weight gain; weight loss; missing the point; missing the boat; growing old while holding on; old age and regret; wasting youth; dithering, dejection and death; being compelled; running free; laughter and humiliation; giggles and innuendo; being one-up rather than being one-down; getting a guarantee; tending to remain passive; looking for the buzz; getting nervous; being frightened; being confused; missing the point; chasing the point; ramming the point home; being fooled; being made a fool of; identifying personal core values; nailing one’s flag to the mast; making a difference; duties and obligations; exploring personal meaning amid purpose; going to work; not going to work; having another drink and getting drunk; staying sober after work; not shooting up; getting drunk at the weekend; ogling desires and lusts in their various disguises; being a sex object in one’s dreams; misunderstandings and insults; laughing at hilarious juxtapositions; laughing and crying; joking and fibbing; being caught out; getting caught at it; going to the movies; watching television; pussyfooting around toadyism; humiliation and bitterness; going out and coming back; lackadaisical loitering; larking about; going out and not coming back; travelling hopefully so as to arrive; waiting for what’s his name; not doing much; rushing about and pushing it; being pushed; not pushing back hard enough; going for a walk; confusion amid the ordinary; laughter and tears amid jokes and jeers; insults and chagrin; regrets and frustration; surprise and annoyance; deceits and dejections; surprised disinterest; finding sadness amid realities; waiting for something to happen; the pursuit of purpose; the pursuit of happiness; getting to the point; laughing at doubt; laughing out loud; larking about in comradeship; sniggering furtively and taking the piss; wondering what it was all about; signs and portents; being mistaken; being surprised; throwing a wobbly; taking it easy; staying cool; jollification and bamboozlement; being taken by surprise; thinking before funking; getting funky before thinking; wondering whether it will ever happen or not; getting laid; taking a leak; pausing in wonderment; walking the straight and narrow; going off the rails; crashing the boat; bugging out; memories of the way things were; having a cup of tea or coffee to relax with; being good to oneself; getting on with it; and so it goes, so go to it, and don’t throw the baby out with the bath-water!

    • I agree that life is made up of all those things, and a million more besides. There is amazing variety, contrast, and sweetness in human life. I believe, however, that the essence of life is not those things in themselves. Blood, sweat, and tears, though good and wonderfully human, are not the goal. If they are the goal then the game is up and we all lost.

      The essence of life is in using everything you listed for its real and greater purpose – the worship of the infinite God. The Bible says worship God with your blood, sweat, and tears, with your body, your aspirations, relationships, food, all of it. Suddenly there is freedom: I am not the slave to the circumstances of my life as I once was. I can walk with God no matter what my circumstances are, no matter how my life plays out. Before, my humaneness (as you’ve described it) was pointless and destined for expiration. Now it is glorious. Now it is worth something. Now I want to live my human life to the absolute fullest, for Jesus came to “give life, and life to the full.” Sin deadens our humanity. Jesus brings it to life.

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