"Man searches for his own fulfillment in life in many ways, but where is lasting fulfillment to be found? A career comes to an end; attaining to a great position of wealth or power fails to satisfy one's deepest longings. Surely there must be something more to life! Has life on earth any meaning if death is its final end? Many people experience a sense of frustration by life's seeming emptiness and brevity...I trust this book will give some answers to people who today are living in the same position in which I found myself at twenty years of age."
So far, except for probably the age, the words sound like they could have come from Solomon's own pen as he wrote Ecclesiastes. Interestingly, they are instead the opening words of A. Wetherell Johnson's book, Created for Commitment. The book charts her journey from being an agnostic, a philosophy graduate in Paris with a busy social life and promising career—to experiencing a profound dissatisfaction with it all. The unrest led her to search for and find a purpose in life which far exceeded all her longing. Because we just finished studying Solomon's life, and since a newly attained friend I met in my small group at BSF lent me this book, I've begun reading it. I'm now viewing the study through Johnson's eyes and understanding her purpose in writing it.
Part of that purpose eventually included founding Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). The group, which began with a little roomful of five women, has become international in scope. Locally, two groups meet at the Imlay City Christian Reformed Church. Last week was the final class until fall, when we will be studying the Book of Acts under the theme: ACTS and the LETTERS of the APOSTLES: UNSTOPPABLE. There is no charge to attend this wonderful fellowship. For further information about BSF, call the church office, or ask someone you know who has been blessed by the fellowship and friendship which has grown through BSF.
To my knowledge, Audrey Wetherell Johnson never married—never had children. She never experienced motherhood. But many, many women (as well as men) have been profoundly blessed and could call her their spiritual mother because she eventually quit ignoring God, leaving France to return to her home in England. Here, in her words, is a summary of how that all came down:
"To knowingly refuse to obey God when He speaks to you as He did to me in England is a serious matter. It invariably has dangerous consequences. My attitude of agnosticism resulted in months of desperation in England as I considered the meaninglessness of life lived without any philosophy in which I could believe."
Does that not sound like Solomon's thought process in Ecclesiastes? Thankfully, through God's honing process, she became single-minded in following God's plan for her life.
Email Willene at firstname.lastname@example.org
Willene Tanis is a longtime resident of the Imlay City area and an active volunteer in the community. Many readers find her 'Perspectives' column to universal and uplifting.