There Must Be More Than This
Some years back 60 Minutes did a piece on Tom Brady, the Super Bowl winning quarterback of the New England Patriots, entitled “Tom Brady: The Winner.” The idea of the segment was that he would discuss both his career as well as other aspects of his life. At one point during the interview, the CBS News correspondent prefaced a portion of his forthcoming video interview by saying,
“But with all that money, fame, and career accomplishments we were surprised to hear this from him…”
Now before we hear what he and the 60 Minutes team were surprised to hear, it’s worth noting that at this point in Tom Brady’s life, at 30 years old, he had made more money than he probably ever imagined he would have playing football; he was already being compared to Joe Montana as one of the greatest (if not the greatest) quarterback to ever play the game, having already won at that time three Super Bowls; and he had been perceived as the being the bachelor par excellence. So that’s the life context that made the following statements so surprising to the 60 Minutes team. Brady said,
“Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there is something greater out there for me? I mean… Maybe a lot of people out there would say ‘hey man this is what it is’ I’ve reached my goal, my dream, my life is…
Me… I think… God, there has to be more than this.”
He was then asked, “What’s the answer?” Brady replied, “I wish I knew, I wish I knew.” In a sense, Tom Brady was agreeing with what Qoheleth said throughout Ecclesiastes. Life ‘under the sun’ isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. From an earthbound perspective, the writer of Ecclesiastes told us that even climbing the highest mountains of human achievement, experiencing the vast assortment of temporal pleasures that temporarily satiate human desires, and accruing previously unimaginable amounts of wealth and real estate are, in the final analysis – vanity.
So, in the form of literary pessimism, the writer of Ecclesiastes, in a systematic, apologetic-type fashion, deconstructed the proposed fulfillments of supposed satisfiers. But with that being said, one of the things that is worth noticing as you make your way through the Book of Ecclesiastes is – the ‘under the sun’ perspective that you receive throughout the book has two forms of epistemology: empiricism and subjectivism. An example of the former would be: “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind” (Eccl. 1:14 emphasis added). And then, two verses later, an example of the latter: “I communed with my heart, saying,…” (vs.16a emphasis added). The point of these two references is this – Qoheleth’s information was derivred from his eyes and his heart. The key component that’s noticeably missing is divine revelation. If you and I are going to answer the fundamental why of human existence, “Why am I here?” the answer is not meant to come from the creature, neither from what he observes with his eyes nor with what he perceives in his heart; it must come from the Creator.
The Creator’s Answer Given
Having seen the scriptural deconstruction of typically-sought reasons for purpose and fulfillment, we now move to the scripture’s answer. The reason that we are here on earth, succinctly stated, is this – we exist to glorify God. Immediately there is a sense in which that statement is counter-cultural. Most people either consciously or subconsciously think that God exists to serve them; but the reality is – human beings exist to glorify Him. That means that our lives are not intended to be fundamentally about us. We aren’t the end for which we were created; God’s glory is the end for which we were created. Now that conclusion is not derived from empiricism and subjectivism but from the norm of God’s Word. To see this case made Biblically we will begin in the latter portion of the opening chapter of Genesis, on the sixth day of creation. We will not end there, but we will plan to start there in the next Why Am I Here? daily teaching.