Looking for the meaning of life
Why this life?
I am born on this earth and am making use of it to survive. Utilizing scarce resources, a question keeps coming up. What’s the point of all this? Why am I here? Why am I not born in some other country and doing some other work? Who has decided all this for me?
In the past I have almost always worked only for my own selfish wants or satisfaction of desires or fulfillment of pleasures. That is how I have lived my life. Never felt that I was doing anything wrong. My world view was supported by the worldly wisdom which is also very selfish at its core. It used to be “eat or starve” but has now become “eat or be eaten”. This aggressiveness became a part and parcel of my life without my realizing how it was eating my soul. It so happened once- a few women in varying ages with about ten small children came at the cross roads close to my retail store and started to beg. They looked really famished, in a bad shape, the children barely clothed. Guess what was my first reaction? Was it sympathy towards their poverty? Feeling troubled that they are all hungry or the small kids have no clothes? No Sir! It was none of this righteous stuff. My first reaction was that I wanted to stop this whole begging thing and I wanted them gone from there .They would make it a habit and it will become a nuisance. I made sure that I collected a couple of people from there and collectively we made these guys to move from there to where ever they can survive. Not on this crossroad. How inhuman can we become so easily. Wonder what would have Jesus thought of me – Matthew 25:40 “Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
Other questions that kept coming to me - Am I alive only to take care of my family? Or slog everyday for my career? Commute two hours daily to work and be upset about it? Or just keep running, running, running behind my targets, aspirations, ideas and prospects?
Finally I got tired, really tired. Suddenly the work was not as interesting, the career not so promising, the television not so real, and a heavy heart that started negating all the joyous things in life. A feeling came that this path is wrong. This is not what I am meant for. This is not what my Creator made me for … oops! Forgot about creator all this while!
Never gave a serious thought to God all these years. Never thought what he is thinking about me. Does he really even know that I exist? Does he care? Can he give me any answers? Can he help me with the sadness, the disappointment, the emptiness that I feel? Everything is good by worldly eyes – decent job, decent education and a nice family. Why then am I unhappy?
Then the truth came and it came in a flash. My entire life was as skewed as it could be. I did not choose this life or its current circumstances. It was given to me- by God. So it’s best that I ask God why I am facing the current feeling. Is it temporary or will I keep feeling like this always. Again “always” can have two meanings – “always till I die” or “eternal”. I have never given much thought to eternal till now... been so busy with life. This verse in Colossians 1:16 switched on the power beam in the dark room of my heart – My own eureka moment!–“For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.” When we are created through Him and for Him, why even bother looking for answers anywhere else? I have to ask him for answers.
The truth is as simple as it can get – God knows better than us. He made us; he knows WHY he made us and WHAT he wants us to do. The reason I have gone grossly wrong in my life is that I have been thoroughly self centered all this time and have always looked for the answers in the wrong places. Am still surviving because of the grace he has given to me. The quest started with self help books of all varieties covering topics starting from how to make friends to how to lead a good life.
The worldly Self help directed me to work on my SELF. Go to gym, lose weight, polish your English, wear right clothes, make the right impression, hide the shortcomings in your personality and emphasize the strong points, market myself etc. etc. This made me into a product in a market place. A bad product. A product that promises more than it can deliver and a product that is very well packaged but will not fulfill its promises. I became Dishonest. Dishonest to one and all! I had never really cared about the importance of God’s will. Now I was a hypocrite too. We all know what Jesus says about hypocrites in Matthew 6. I did not even realize when I had become this bad product.
God dislikes dishonesty. So I am sure this is where I lost God’s favor. The grace vanished, but all for my good. I sat up and started taking stock of my life, my behavior, my crooked thought process, my dishonesty and His love, care and grace for me.
The realization that we have been created by him and he knows what’s best for us changed my focus. The focus shifted from self to God and slowly the path started to appear. To understand our own rationale we have to focus on God and not ourselves. Only in LORD can we discover our starting point, our character, our importance and our providence. Self obsession will surely take us to a dark prison but complete focus on God will give us the freedom that we crave.
For life to make sense we have to realize our complete ownership by God. We don’t even own ourselves. So we also don’t choose our purpose. It is predetermined by God and revealed to us once we start seeking him and start knowing his will. Life has no meaning without God.
The Grand Design
God is the grand designer who has already made a plan for the entire universe and beyond. The grand plan which stretches into eternity also has a course set. The meaning and purpose of our life is a part of this grand plan. Believe it or not – God works at both Macro and Micro level. He is running the whole earth, heaven and universe but at the same time concerned about his son or daughter who has fallen into sin. He is present everywhere and knows every heart.
Once I understood the truth my hunger for the meaning of life became intense and there was only one way for me, The Word of God – The Holy Bible. This hunger cannot be satiated by self help books, neither can it be fulfilled by any worldly gurus, it can be only satisfied by the loving care of Jesus Christ. Reading through the Word, I understood that everything has already been revealed by God through its prophets and Gospel writers, but I don’t yet have the eyes to absorb it. Those eyes can be only given to me by our Saviour Jesus Christ. A personal relationship with him is what I am struggling with now. Some days I feel very close to him and see his guiding hand in everything. Some days he moves away from me and the intensity of my hunger increases. But I know that I am on the right path- God’s path.
I do not know the meaning or the purpose of my life yet. Neither would I want to make this into a philosophical debate in my head because if there are any answers, they are in the Word. Bible has the sole authority in this. I know one thing for a fact – I don’t need to be super brilliant or extra intellectual to understand what Our Father in Heaven wants to tell us. In-fact the simpler I am the better. The Beatitudes say so. I know I am in the right place and doing the right thing. I would urge all the readers who have been patient enough to read through the “not intellectually” written account to also ask themselves these most important questions of meaning/ purpose of life, eternity and our role in this universe being run by our Father. Till the time we don’t seek these answers we will keep going astray and sin will keep winning battles against Our Father. We can’t let that happen… Can we?