Have you ever wondered why you’re here? What your purpose is? I have. To be honest, I’m pretty sure we all have.
The meaning behind one’s existence is a question that is likely to cross the mind of every person at some point in his/her lifetime, and it seems to be a particularly prevalent topic of discussion among teenagers and young adults. After all, you’re at that stage in life where you are forced to begin making decisions that will affect the rest of your time here on this earth. Decisions like: Where should I go to university? Who should I marry? What should I do with my life? It’s a nerve-wracking time for all of us, and it’s even more difficult when we have no purpose, no guiding thesis statement, to aid us in making these vital decisions.
Unfortunately, many people stumble through their entire lives without figuring out why they’re here on this earth. It’s not for lack of trying either. No, humanity has tried just about everything in her yearning for satisfaction. Over the last several millennia, people have turned to drugs, alcohol, sex, wealth, fame, and love to fill the emptiness that accompanies a lack of purpose. In the end, however, we always arrive at the same conclusion: None of these things satisfy. There are few people, if any, that serve as a better illustration of this point than Solomon, the wealthiest man to ever live. Most people would consider his life to be one of abounding success, and yet, listen to his own words from the book of Ecclesiastes:
“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” ~ Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 (NIV)
Few are able to boast like Solomon. Few can honestly say, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired” or “I refused my heart no pleasure.” It would seem, then, that there are also few who are more adequately informed than Solomon when he says that “… everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
This brings us to a critical question: If nothing of this world can truly satisfy our hearts and provide us with meaning, what can? Why are we really here?
Well, thankfully, the Bible isn’t silent on this issue. Scripture makes it clear in passages such as Psalm 106 and Isaiah 43 that we do indeed have a purpose. We were created by God… for God. What does that mean? It means that Yahweh, the ruler of the universe, created us with one single purpose in mind: his glorification. This revelation is huge, and bears immense consequence. When we realize that God created us to glorify Him, our entire way of thinking shifts. Instead of looking to ourselves and the things of this world for satisfaction, we begin looking to God to fill the void. Instead of basing our decisions off of what we think will bring us the most happiness, we begin to ask ourselves what will bring God the most glory. The same decisions that were once nerve-wracking become clear as we come to understand that we have a guiding thesis statement for our entire lives. Which school should you choose? Whichever school allows you to bring God the most glory. Who should you marry? Whichever girl will be best suited to help you in your pursuit of God’s glorification. What should you do with your life? Whatever you can do to bring God the maximum amount of glory possible.
Life becomes so much more meaningful (and a thousand times more enjoyable) when we have a purpose upon which we can focus our time, energy, and attention. What greater purpose is there than to glorify the One who created us and sent his only Son to die for us that we might live for Him forever?
Now that you know why you’re here, it’s all about maintaining focus. Our team of writers is dedicated to equipping you to do exactly that this month, so stay tuned and check in regularly for new articles from our brand new series, “Focus”.