No! That's Not All There Is

by Charles E. Bryce

Brilliant vocalist and entertainer, Peggy Lee, had a smash hit song in the late 1960’s. “Is That All There Is?” quickly rose to the top of the music charts and stayed there for several weeks.

In this song, Peggy talks and sings, mixing the two in a blend that addresses one of the most important of all questions in every thinking person’s life.

She says: “And when I was 12 years old, my father took me to the circus, the greatest show on earth.

There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears.

And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads.

And as I sat there watching the marvelous spectacle

I had the feeling that something was missing.

I don’t know what, but when it was over,

I said to myself, “Is that all there is to a circus?”

Then she sings: “Is that all there is, is that all there is

If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing

Let’s break out the booze and have a ball

If that’s all there is.”

This plaintive and poignant blend of spoken and melodic lyrics is repeated through the song from start to finish, but never attempts to answer the penetrating and arresting question, “Is that all there is?”

Do you have the answer? Essentially, it boils down to the foundational question of why you were born. For that matter why was anybody born?

Life is a wonderful and exciting gift, consisting of time. It is precious time, in which we are born, grow up, grow older and then die. But what is the purpose and reason for this journey? Is it just one long series of choices and decisions, some good and some bad, leading to situations and circumstances, some good and some not so good—and then it’s all over? Is that it? Is that really all there is to life? Shouldn’t there be more?

Vanity of vanities

Solomon explored this subject in great detail. He said: “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever” (Ecc.1:2-4).

Is it all just vanity, a temporary existence that ends and is soon forgotten with no lasting impact or value? The answer is “Yes!”, according to Solomon’s experience and assessment: “For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten...” (Ecc. 2:16).

Think of what this means if he is right. Nothing matters. Nothing counts in the long run. It ends up being as though we had never existed or achieved anything lasting or worthwhile over the long haul! Therefore Solomon concludes: “Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry...” (Ecc. 8:15).

Or as Peggy Lee suggested in her song: “If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing. Let’s break out the booze and have a ball. If that’s all there is.”

But the truth is, there is much more to life than that. Once we understand the truly exciting purpose God has planned for each and every individual who has ever lived or will ever live, we can then clearly realize that fact.

King Solomon gradually came to see this and says so in his absorbing book of Ecclesiastes. After writing this book and making detailed observations about life without God in the picture, he then put God in the middle of the equation and reached this conclusion: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecc. 12:13-14, NKJV).

When you actually fully comprehend the real purpose for life in the first place, then you come to see that EVERYTHING matters. Everything counts–for good or for evil–and all of it is important in the long and short run.

Everything has consequences. There is always an outcome. What we do, say and think impacts what that outcome will be. Since God has given us free moral agency, our decisions and choices determine our future and define who we are and what we are about all along the way. Whatever action we take makes a difference in whether the results will be positive and pleasant or negative and painful.

Our most important treasure

The whole process leads to the development of character, which is the most important treasure we possess, especially if it is holy, righteous godly character like Jesus Christ has!

When the Creator God decided to create the human race, He launched a plan for mankind’s ultimate destiny that is hard to fully comprehend. It is so vast, far–reaching and thrilling that it actually taxes the ability of the human mind to fully grasp it.

Please look at Genesis 1:26: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...’” Did you notice that it says “us” and “our”? Those words are plural! That means there is more than one in the God family. Right now there are two—God, the Father and Jesus Christ, the Son. But God’s plan is to bring more into the God Family—many, many more. In essence, God is actually reproducing Himself through human beings made in His image, but composed of physical matter—for now.

Children are often referred to as the “spitting image” of their parents or other members of their family. That is the same pattern God is following as He builds His family. We look like Him in general appearance. Our destiny is to one day actually be born into His family as spirit beings. Then we’ll be like Him in appearance and composition–made out of spirit, not flesh and blood: “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption...and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:49-50, 52).

We will be the Father’s children just like Jesus Christ is, yet still subject to Him and our Savior. I John 3:2 says that we shall be just like Him: “... but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

Realized full potential

This age old subject of what we are, why we were born, where are we headed has been considered over and over again from time immemorial. Notice: “But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him?” (Heb. 2:6).

Surely all of us have imagined what we would like to be “when we grow up”—a farmer, homemaker, teacher, business owner, artist, architect, athlete, and so on. But who among us would ever dare to dream that our ultimate destiny would be to become actual members of the God family.

We will be sanctified as sons and daughters of God. In anticipation of this time, Jesus Christ, our Elder Brother and “the captain of our not ashamed to call [us] brethren” (Heb. 2:10-11). We will be freed from these frail, imperfect, physical bodies and changed into powerful, limitless spirit–composed bodies comparable to the Father’s and Jesus Christ’s own: “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Phil 3:21). Along with Jesus Christ, we will inherit all things: “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21:7). Notice it says “inherit all things” which includes the whole, limitless, endless universe!

Incredible but true

If only we can come to see that and believe it! Hopefully, you can—because it is true according to the inspired words found in your own Bible. Please read and study it for yourself. Regardless of what you have been taught and believed before, ask God to help you change whatever wrong understanding you might have about this subject and to fully embrace the Truth, straight from God’s Holy and inspired Word!

Life is not about just the here and now; it is even more about the hereafter. This is the training ground for our future life in the Kingdom of God. As we overcome and grow in this journey of qualifying for responsibilities in God’s family, we realize that everything matters. All that we do, say and think, brings us closer to the gift of eternal life, or takes us in the opposite direction—away from our marvelous ultimate destiny.

In order to gain the prize of our high calling from God, we must rely on Him for help, strength and guidance to do our part in this whole process. It involves challenges, effort and endurance in doing the right thing over and over again as the only worthwhile way of life. Jesus Christ will be there to help us overcome and grow, every step of the way!

And even that is not “all there is”! There is more, and it is all good: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (I Cor. 2:9). So don’t get distracted and careless and miss out on anything God has planned for His family. One thing is for sure—it will include hard work, stunning projects of building and accomplishment, and meeting challenges that are fulfilling, stimulating, and brim full and running over with happiness and satisfaction—without any kick backs or regrets, for anyone, ever!

Busy and fulfilling life

This busy life will start out on earth: “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10). We will do important work as kings and priests and teachers in the Kingdom of God, reigning with Jesus Christ for 1000 years: “But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6).

Then after that as full–fledged members of the God Family, we will be very busy taking God’s plan throughout the whole universe for all eternity. The way to guarantee that you and yours won’t come up short in this breathtaking and thrilling purpose and plan, designed by the Creator Himself, for all of mankind, is found in Deut 30:19: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”

Don’t miss out on reaching your eternal destiny when this temporary existence is over. Make every minute count now, toward one day inheriting eternal life in the family of God! Choose life and then live it God’s way and be abundantly blessed here and now and forever more!

Related Content


Free Subscription

You can subscribe absolutely FREE to the print edition of Straightforward Magazine—no strings attached! Fill out the form below to receive your free subscription to this unique and vitally important magazine.


First Name

Last Name


Street & Apartment



ZIP/Postal Code



Confirm E-mail