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Article: On Purpose and Meaning

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Tom S.

All people seek, seeking something to provide purpose in this life. We all seek a purpose in this life. We are all reaching out for something to fulfill us, to give us meaning and purpose. Looking around at the culture that surrounds me, this is apparent. Many find their purpose in the materialism of this culture. He who dies with the most toys, wins has become the order of the day. Ironically, the more we get the more we get stressed. People seek meaning and purpose and find it in superficial materialism. A story goes about a rich man who worked his entire life and, when he became the wealthiest man in the world he was asked if there was one thing he could have. Without taking a moment to think upon it, he answered "Another billion dollars." The irony of seeking purpose in materialism, this that the more we have the more we want. Therefore we are never fulfilled, as we always want more. Some people will sacrifice their family and friends to further their career to gain more. Since people always are seeking more and more, the only thing that could quench this thirst is something that is infinite.

This culture is also searching for a savior. A superman that will fly in and save us from all the evils in this world. Just watch an old Superman cartoon (or movie). We have a need of one that is more powerful than us that will bring justice to the evils in our world. People are seeking something to save them. There are superhero TV shows for that reason. The theme song of a favorite show of mine, Smallville, which tells of the childhood of Clark Kent has a theme song that cries out: "Wont somebody save me? Save me. I dont care how you do it, just save me, save me...come on I've been waiting for you..." People need something to rescue them, this is a real need.

Are these desires the cause or effect? Are they the cause of all the religions to fulfill our need of something more powerful than us? Or are they the effect of a Creator who gave us these so that we may seek Him and be fulfilled by Him? If the former is true, then we live in an atheistic universe, and there is no meaning or purpose. The folly is that if there is no meaning, then should not know that there is no meaning. Meaning would not exist, and we would not know of its existence or non-existence. This is best articulated by CS Lewis: If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning." So, if there is no meaning, how do we know that since we are not capable of "feeling" a need of purpose, since it does not exist. This seems like an unreasonable explanation.

Now, what if the latter is true? Then we live in a theistic universe. Then the desire for something that is infinite, something that will rescue us and bring justice to the ills of this world were put in us by the Creator Himself. Now, if these needs are put in us by a Creator, one would think that He would also fulfill them. And, if one examines history closely he will notice Jesus the Christ. Society today is crying out, and Jesus Christ can answer and fulfill them. They need someone to save them, and Jesus came for that very reason. He is infinite, which is why what He gives us does not fade away. "Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:13-14)

He came to rescue us from our sins, and He gives us something that does not fade, something eternal that can quench the human thirst and fulfill the sense of purpose and meaning in your life.

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