This is part three of our series of resources developed to be used with a mixed group of youth and adults, discussing issues of faith through the lens of various videos discovered on YouTube. We are intentionally drawing from both religious and secular videos. Part one is here. Part two is here.
Week Three: What is the Meaning of Life?
Share: What is life all about? Is the answer different if you are a Christian? Has anyone figured it out? This week we look at how the world of YouTube has tried to address that question.
1. The Meaning of Life - Dan Is Not On Fire
- Do you relate to Dan’s experience of “permanent existential crisis”?
- How important is this question of “meaning”? Dan treats it humorously – does that seem like the right approach?
- Dan says that the answer is “do whatever you have to do to be happy”? What do you think about that? Dan says "There's way too much fun and joy in the world for anyone to waste their time or their life doing something that makes them unhappy." What would you say to him about this? Does your thinking on this change depending on what a person might say makes him or her "happy?"
Share: Dan seems to be having fun with the question of existence. But for others, this is a much more serious consideration – especially those who have a lot less time to figure it out. As you watch this next video, think about how your answer might change if you were forced to come to your conclusions against a ticking clock:
Soul Pancake: My Last Days – Meet Ann
- What is your initial reaction to Ann’s story? What emotions did it evoke?
- How do you think the question of meaning changes when you know that your time is limited?
- How do you think true struggle changes the way your approach that question?
- Do you think her family has changed how they see what is important and meaningful? Share your thoughts on these quotes:
- Ann’s husband: “Life after death isn’t the issue. It’s living a life well up to that point.”
- Ann: “Most people live with blinders on and are so caught up in all the little things that distract you from what really matters. And all that stuff is kind of washed away and you get clean and see what really counts…and that’s the people that you love.”
- Does this change your reaction to how Dan in video one looked at the same question? How are Dan and Ann’s thinking similar? Different?
Share: Many people are wrestling with this question of the meaning of existence. But, as Christians, should we have a particular (perhaps unique) way of considering it? Think about that as we view this next video from Brian Mosley, who leads Right Now Ministries, an organization focused on the Missional church.
What is a Trader?
- What’s your reaction to this definition of a “trader”? What do you think about the suggestion that you have to “trade in the American dream” for being a Christian?
- Do you agree that the World mostly sees life’s meaning in “more, more, more and me, me, me”? In collecting possessions and wealth and status?
- What do you think Dan and Ann would feel about this as a measure of life’s meaning?
- As Christians, do you think the question of meaning could be answered by deciding what our mission is? Share your thoughts on these quotes:
- “The mission you are on is what makes you a missionary”
- “What makes your heart break and your first clench?”
- Do you think that its realistic that your job, your time in school, your entire day could be about your “mission” and what you see as “the meaning of life”? Share your thoughts on these ideas in the video:
- Live life “so your short time here can have an eternal impact”
- “Choose daily to help those in need, follow Jesus, hate injustice and act on it!”
Share: As we end this session, let’s close with this video that shows high school students in Texas coming together around a mission they found meaningful: standing up to bullying. To make this video, two students brought together their entire school to take a stand on bullying in the same district where just a year before 13-year-old Asher Brown committed suicide after being repeatedly bullied.
Cypress Ranch: Anti-Bullying Video