Roger Carswell – Finding Real Life

No one I know asked to be born. Neither did anyone choose their family, the talents they would have, or even the personality that would be theirs.

Prince William did not choose his parents, nor did the little one born into squalor in an African shanty town. However, the vast majority of people I meet are glad they are alive. Most of us cling on to life – that’s why we try to keep fit, take vitamins, and go to the doctor.

But we don’t want to just exist. We want to love life and live life to the full. How do we get that real life? That is the big question we want answering when life seems so ‘daily’.

Is real life only for the rich, the round-the-world sailor, millionaire entrepreneur, celebrity or footballer? Actually the biographies of many of these people seem to mask or betray emptiness. In contrast, the happiest people I have ever met lived in dire poverty in a slum area of southern India. They had no running water, sanitation or electricity. Their possessions were few. Yet in their church with a canvas roof and no walls, joy, enthusiasm and sense of belonging to each other was something I have rarely seen.

Whenever I meet an expert in something I love to ask them questions. I remember the details of deep sea fishing shared with me by a fisherman living in the north of Scotland, or hearing of the pressures on a foreign correspondent based in South America. I asked the questions, they filled me in with their answers. So to me, it is significant that when one reads the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, in the Bible, we see that time and again Jesus is asked about life, particularly eternal life. Clearly, people near to Him recognised that He knew what life was all about.

Jesus said things like, “I am the way, the truth and the life…”; “I have come that they (people) may have life, and have it in all its fullness” and “I am the resurrection and the life…”. He even went as far as to repeatedly say that those who believed/trusted in Him would have eternal life. Eternal life is not just life never-ending, but life never-boring. It is life with a capital ‘L’ where the true and living God, who brought all things into being, comes to live within a human being.

Near to where I live, there is a famous set of five locks on the Leeds–Liverpool Canal. It is an amazing sight to see a canal boat gradually being lifted sixty feet to a higher plane by the power of the water underneath. When a person puts their trust in Jesus Christ, they are ‘lifted’ to a higher plane. They come to know God, and He gives a new meaning to everything.

Real life is possible because of the death by crucifixion of Jesus, and then His rising back to life three days later. When Jesus was crucified outside Jerusalem, on the first Easter weekend nearly two thousand years ago, He was dying for you and me. Our sin, death and hell were laid on Him. He died that we might be forgiven and reconciled to God.

Jesus, who is the life, gave up His life so that we might know eternal life with God. Heaven is not a reward. It is a gift given to all who will turn from all that is wrong and trust in Jesus as Lord and Saviour. There will be ordinary people living near you who themselves have found real life through Jesus. Remember, He said, “I am the life”. His life can be yours if you will ask Him to take over your life, and bring you to know God.