Along with the personal thoughts of the meaning of life as I know it, I've also been mulling over a couple passages of scripture:
1 John 2:16 - For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.I don't have any great breakthrough theological insights into either, but here's a couple thoughts I thunk. It's widely known that women deal more in feelings and emotions, and men are controlled strongly by their sight. I think it's interesting John includes worldly things which affect both genders in his verse. Women are definitely affected by our flesh, what we feel to be true. By the same token, men's decisions are frequently controlled by what they see to be reality. The fact is, illusions are all around us - male or female - and our fleshly desires or visions may be leading us away from the Father. Then, of course, all humanity struggles with the "boastful pride of life." I'm not saying women are never led astray by their eyes and men don't submit to their feelings, it's just a general observation about our general temptations.
I read through all of Paul's letter to the Philippians recently and was struck by how we sometimes cheapen 4:13. Certainly this verse is applicable in all circumstances in which we need strength or courage, but look again at the circumstances in which he finds himself strengthened by God: with humble means, hungry, suffering need (v.12). Yet in those desperate straits, Paul has learned contentment and has found the strength for sheer survival in Christ. He's not talking about strength to put up with a slow line in the grocery store; he's talking about not having money to even go to the grocery store. He's not talking about strength to endure 10 minutes worth of commercials during his favorite show; he's talking about not even having a place to sleep at night. Paul had perspective I hope to one day obtain and emulate. He knew what mattered. He knew truth and reality. He knew Christ.
Philippians 3:10 - I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.