Meaning and Purpose

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

“Vapor of vapors and futility of futilities, says the Preacher. Vapor of vapors and futility of futilities! All is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and vainglory).” Ecclesiastes 1:2 Amplified Bible

Albert Camus found insight in the myth of Sisyphus, a story based on the king of Corinth in Greek mythology. As Camus wrote in the opening sentence of his 1955 adaption of this myth, “The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain.” Then, as it arrived at the top, “the stone would fall back of its own weight.” Then, the process began all over again.

This, Camus wrote, was the punishment of the gods, who thought “that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.” For Camus, “the fundamental subject” of this story was wondering “whether life has a meaning.” Camus, born in Algeria on this day in 1913, was influenced by the hopelessness many felt at the conclusion of World War II. He also had been influenced by the complications of life in Algeria. This, his homeland, was in northern Africa but had been under French control since 1830.

He became increasingly disillusioned, expressing these feelings in works that made him one of the world’s leading authors, winning the Nobel Prize for literature in 1957 before dying in a car accident in 1960.

Many people have this same kind of hopelessness. They view life like Sisyphus. Never seeming to get anywhere. Stuck in ruts filled with repetitious routines. Finding relief only through temporary pleasures and escapes. The Preacher in Ecclesiastes observed many people like this, who pursue many things, but in the end discover that their efforts were futile.

But God offers us a life with meaning and hope, without despair.


Prayer: Father, thank You for giving meaning to my life. I dedicate my life to You. Use me to impact the world for the Gospel. I worship and praise You! In Jesus’ name. Amen.