As I write this article it is only a few days before Christmas. You would think that this would be a time when everyone has a positive outlook and a hope for a wonderful future. But unfortunately, that is not the case. There are more people who suffer depression and hopelessness at this time of year than at any other time. I am convinced that it is because modern society has taken our eyes off the real reason for our existence. We have no clear definition of our purpose in life. Many who come to the “end of the rope” in their life are usually asking the question, “What is my life’s purpose?” And too many of them can not answer the question with a satisfactory answer.
Is there a purpose in life?
I am approaching this from a western civilization standpoint and perspective because I am a citizen of the United States of America. If you are not a citizen of the United States you might think that everyone who is a citizen has purpose and had all their needs met, physically, mentally and spiritually. Well, you would be wrong!
Most of the world’s population has the purpose in life of getting food, clothing, shelter and a means of obtaining these things, in other words a job. That seems to be the only things that give most of the people on this globe a purpose for life. Unfortunately, they think that if they can attain to a point of having these things in sufficient supply that their life will have meaning and purpose. That is one reason we see thousands of immigrants walking thousands of miles to invade the southern border of the United States. To their dismay, they will find that attaining these things will in no way bring lasting purpose to their lives here on earth.
Is purpose found in things?
As much of the world thinks that getting the essentials in life will give purpose to living, those who have attained those things have found that purpose is found in the attaining of more and more of these things. We who have been blessed to have experienced a life which was born in the United States and has been lived in its entirety as a citizen of the United States are without a doubt the most blessed of any people who have ever been born on this planet.
The United States is the richest and most blessed nation ever to have existed in history. The United States was not founded on giving people purpose in life by giving them things, but it was founded on principles that gave people freedom to work toward those things. But the principles were the purpose, not the things.
The principles which gave them purpose were firmly grounded in the teachings of the Holy Bible. The purpose of life came not from the things but from the giver of life. That Giver is the Creator of all things.
The American Dream
One of the biggest promotions of all time has been the idea of “The American Dream”. There is nothing wrong with having a dream and a goal. But, one should consider well what the dream is, the source of the dream, the price of the dream, and the eventual ramifications of the dream. In general, “The Dream” was that the parents would bequeath a better legacy to their children than they had inherited from their parents. There is nothing wrong with the general application of said dream. However, it depends on the legacy that one has inherited whether that would truly be a blessing to pass on.
If one’s family is a feudal lord and has many servants, then the goal of “the dream” would be to enlarge the fief and increase the number of servants to pass on to the children. That is not a good “dream”. Good for the master, bad for the servant.
In a sense, this is where the “American Dream” missed the mark. Americans began to emphasize only material things as the mark of a purpose in life. The more things you had, the more purposeful your life, or so it was taught. So, the goal in “The American Dream” became to get as many things and possessions as you could and then pass them on to your offspring. This was to give purpose in life.
To tell the truth, it did not work. At what level of attainment of things and money does life begin to have purpose? Is it $100,000? Is it $1,000,000? Is it $1,000,000,000? And so it continues. At what point does one finally declare that, “My life has purpose.” Will that purpose continue? Or must more things be attained to maintain that purpose?
The truth is, that the American Dream as promoted today will turn into a nightmare that will destroy the inner person with greed and lack of purpose.
Some promote intellect and knowledge as the giver of purpose in life. Take just a few minutes and consider how many people you know and come in contact with that have advanced degrees and knowledge by the volumes. Consider their circumstances in life. Has their degree or knowledge given them purpose and meaning in life. I have been blessed and have been able to gain knowledge in many areas and am thankful for that, but I have met many who have much more knowledge than I and yet they are never satisfied with the amount and are ever seeking more knowledge. It is not that the attaining of that knowledge gives them purpose in life, but that they are driven to attain more and more knowledge for the sake of knowledge.
Some of the greatest minds and intellects of today are some of the most disparaged people and sad that you will ever meet. I know. I have met many of them.
How do we find purpose in life?
If things and intellect cannot give us purpose, then where do we find it? To find purpose we must get back to our roots. The things I mentioned above do not address the root of purpose in the human life. All the goods that we can attain and all the good things that we can do cannot give us purpose in life. We may get a temporary satisfaction from some but never real fulfilling purpose.
Experiencing real purpose in life comes only when one experiences the life changing experience of becoming one with his Creator. Modern society has tried to divorce the spirit of humankind from the person hood of who we are. We have been taught that we are nothing more that atoms bouncing around interacting with one another and that when it is all “said and done”, that that is all that will be. But, that is a lie! Because we have believed a lie, we lack any real purpose for being alive on this earth.
If you are willing to receive the truth that you are a created being, created in the image of your Creator, and that your Creator has definite purposes for you not only in this existence but in the eternal life existence that He has awaiting you, then you can begin to understand the purpose that He has for you here. (I hope that sentence was not too long. Read it several times).
You were created because your Creator loves you dearly. He has great and wondrous things for you now and for eternity. You cannot imagine all the wonder that He has for you. You are going through a time of testing which allows you to decide for yourself where you will spend eternity. The choice is yours. You can choose aimlessness and uncertainty and spend eternity in hell, or you can choose to accept the love of your Creator which He has shown through His only-begotten Son, Jesus, and find purpose for your life, now, and for eternity.
In my own life I found purpose 54 years ago. That purpose has never faded in those 54 years but has grown more and more defined as every day goes by. The joy and the love that fills my life increases everyday. I hope that you will surrender your life to purpose in right relationship with your Creator through His Son Jesus.
God bless you!
I welcome your comments below.