Have you ever wondered what the meaning of life is?
I've pondered this subject many times throughout my life, but one particular time when I was in excruciating pain after spinal cord surgery really got me thinking about it more. I thought of my own life and the purpose of my own existence, which got me having deep thoughts about the meaning of life as I tried to make sense of the pain I was facing.
I am sure that I am not alone and that you have probably asked the same question. "What is the meaning and purpose of life?" I do not know if you have found any answers or if you are still searching. I will try my best to tackle this complex matter by sharing my own experiences and reflections. It is a question that has puzzled humanity for centuries, and I believe that each individual has tried to answer this question in their own way. I know you might disagree with me, but all I am asking is to hear me with an open heart and mind. Whether you agree or disagree, that is not the point. The point of my trying to write about this complex matter is courage. I am not afraid to talk about this subject because I have been ministering to so many people from different walks of life and have helped a lot of my clients find meaning and purpose in life. I've been thinking about it for quite some time, and my answer might guide you to discover your answer and get you thinking. Who knows?
I have been doing ministry and counseling for many, many years. I have heard people's stories and listened to their pain and suffering, trying to make sense of everything I have heard and experienced myself. When you are facing your own pain or trying to help others overcome and make sense of their pain and suffering, you stop at some point and ask yourself what the meaning of life is. Why do we get born through pain and start our early childhood by being needy and requiring care? Why do we experience pain and suffering in life? Why do we see good and bad things in life? As babies, our own existence is connected to our caretakers, and why are some innocent children being dumped into trash cans or abandoned because their parents didn't want them? And why do some children have it all? They have a good family with lots of love and care, and those children are growing up simultaneously. Growing up and attempting to make sense of their own lives, these children from different backgrounds face unique challenges and opportunities. Despite their different circumstances, both children share the universal human desire to understand their purpose and find meaning in their existence.
As children, we fantasize about what our future will look like and picture a perfect life with perfect people. Then we realize really quickly that life is not what we dreamed of, and the picture that we painted in our minds is not realistic. We get hurt, disappointed, and beat up, and we realize we don't know it all and we need to be humble about life and its rules.
The bad experiences in life make us bitter, rigid, and angry, and the good things in life, like wealth, education, and wisdom, make us proud and arrogant. It becomes easy to view ourselves as superior to others, believing that our success defines our worth. We live our lives fighting to get somewhere, to have a good position or fame, but in the end, we come to understand that all these external achievements are just temporary masks that hide our true selves.
At the same time, there is an internal fight going on that no one knows or can understand. We feel empty and try to fill that void with some kind of meaning. We want to have meaningful lives, but we don't know what it looks like or how to achieve it. We question our purpose and wonder if there is a greater meaning to our existence.
We work hard to get the approval of others and want to feel important, but when we get there, that also doesn't satisfy us because deep inside we still feel the void.
Then we think that if we fall in love with the person of our dreams, we will feel fulfilled this time. We come to the truth that other people cannot make us whole or that the person we love so much can at times disappoint us deeply. The list goes on and on. I think you get my point.
I don't see the need to talk about our struggles more than I already have. You already know exactly what I am talking about.
I don't know where you search for answers, but when I am looking for answers, I go to the Bible and try to read God's Word to find the truth. This time was no different; I turned to find answers and found them in the book of Ecclesiastes.
This book was written by King Salomon, the wisest king that ever lived. Let me tell you about him. King Solomon was known for his immense wisdom and wealth. He was blessed with great knowledge and understanding, and his reign was a time of prosperity and peace for his people. However, despite all his accomplishments and riches, Solomon realized that true meaning and fulfillment in life cannot be found in earthly possessions or achievements. He wrote the book of Ecclesiastes as a reflection on the vanity and emptiness of worldly pursuits, and he encourages readers to seek a deeper understanding of life's purpose.
He begins his book with these words: "Vanity of vanities," says the preacher, "vanity of vanities! All is vanity." Through his introspective journey, Solomon questions the value of accumulating wealth, pursuing pleasure, and seeking wisdom in a world where everything is temporary and fleeting. He is saying, in other words, "I had it all; I have done it all, but it didn't bring me true fulfillment or lasting happiness."
The meaning of life goes deeper than what we do or have. Life itself is a gift to us, and we have value. God gave us a chance to enter this lovely but complex world to live, experience, and make choices every day. We go through life's ups and downs, experience life's good and evil, and not only learn and grow from these experiences, but we also choose which side we take.
All of us start our life's journey alone, passing through the birth canal, and we will leave this life alone, passing from life to eternal life or eternal suffering. Our existence doesn't end with our physical death; to ease your mind, I could say we go on to live in the memories of our loved ones and the impact we have made on the world, leaving a lasting legacy behind. While all that is true, that is not the only thing that happens. Our purpose in life, therefore, extends beyond our time on Earth; as King Solomon said in his writings, God put eternity in every man's heart. Deep down in our hearts, we want to know what will happen to us when the moment comes when our lives are done and our hearts stop beating. It is at that very moment that it won't matter what we accomplish, how much money we have, or what kind of legacy we leave behind; all that matters is if our sins are forgiven by believing the truth about Jesus's salvation plan for us that could save us from eternal condemnation.
This is what I see the meaning of life as: We are born and live lives that are not like any other's, but we all die at the end, and the choice is given to every human ever born on this earth to choose where to spend their eternity. This life is a bus stop to choose your final destination. What you make of your life and the choices you make in this limited time frame will ultimately determine your eternal fate. We don't choose our parents, children, or nationality. We cannot determine what kind of life we will have, but we have choices to make throughout our lives, and the choice of choosing to be saved is the most important choice of our lives.
It is not about the material possessions or accomplishments we accumulate but rather about the state of our spirit and whether we have accepted Jesus as our savior. In the grand scheme of things, our success and wealth hold no significance compared to the importance of our relationship with God. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize seeking forgiveness and understanding the truth about Jesus's salvation plan, as it is the key to finding true purpose and fulfillment in this life and the next. Where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.
And that is why King Solomon ended his writings in the book of Ecclesiastes like this: "Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." These powerful words from King Solomon remind us of the ultimate significance of our relationship with God and the importance of living a righteous life in accordance with His commandments. True fulfillment and purpose can only be found when we believe and seek to live in alignment with God's will.
In conclusion, I think I've got you thinking about the importance of life and being saved. Now, it is up to you what you want to do.
Remember, every day we are given the gift of life and the opportunity to deepen our connection with the giver of life. By acknowledging the ultimate significance of our relationship with Him, we become more aware of our choices and their impact on our lives. Living a righteous life in accordance with His commandments not only brings us closer to God but also allows us to experience true fulfillment and purpose in our existence. It is through this alignment that we can find peace, gratitude, and a profound appreciation for the precious gift of life that we are blessed with each day.
We come with nothing and will leave with nothing, but where we go is up to us. Only to us. Your life has value, meaning, and a bigger purpose. You are not alone and rejected; you are not hopeless if you believe in Jesus's power to save you and find the source of life. Your purpose is to know and find the love that God has for you.
If you want to be saved, experience His love, and change your eternal destiny, you can pray this prayer.
Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me and paying the penalty for my sins. Thank you for giving me access to eternal life. Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner, and I believe in your death and resurrection. Lord Jesus, I invite You to be my Lord and Savior. Please lead me from this day forward, guide my path, help me to make the right choices, and help me to stay faithful to You till the end of my life.
In Jesus' name, I pray.
Author: Sona Jamgotchian/Biblical Counselor