Searching for Significance (3)
When Viktor Frankl was sent to Auschwitz, he’d been researching a book on Finding Life’s Meaning. But when his clothes were suddenly taken from him, including the manuscript he’d hidden in his coat lining, he questioned whether his life had real meaning at all.
Then something happened:
the Nazis gave him the rags of an inmate who’d just been sent to the gas chamber and Frankl found in the pocket a page containing a Jewish prayer (from Deuteronomy 6:4-5): ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one God. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.’
‘How should I interpret such a coincidence?’ he asked himself, ‘Other than to live my thoughts instead of merely putting them on paper?’
Later he wrote, ‘Nothing in the world will so effectively help you to survive as the knowledge that there is a purpose to your life. He who has a ‘why’ to live for, can bear almost any ‘how’. Charles Dickens was lame. So was Handel. Homer was blind. Plato was a hunchback. Sir Walter Scott was paralyzed; Paul spent all but seven years of his ministry in prison.
What gave each of these people the stamina to overcome their circumstances?
Purpose! Each of them had a dream, fueled by a fire within that could not be extinguished. They had a ‘why’ that was bigger than every ‘how’.
‘The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’