Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:37~40
When I was a teenager I wrestled with the question: “Why I am here? What is my purpose in life?”
(1) To love God above all things
(2) To love others as much as yourself
As simple as it seems but these are the purpose of our existence in order of importance.
What does this mean in practical day to day living? (Below are a few questions to guide you.)
To Love God
When you wake up in the morning, do you thank God or do go with the motion like switching on the TV to watch the morning news? Do you find pleasure in spending time with God?
When you are browsing in the internet alone and in the privacy of your room, do you intentionally visit adult sites or do you fight off the temptation knowing that you're making God happy and proud of you?
Do you contribute your resources to advance God’s kingdom? Do you find pleasure in giving God a treat?
Do you work to impress your boss or do you work to please God?
To Love Yourself
Do you smoke for pleasure or do choose not to because you care about your health?
Do you eat unhealthy foods or do you limit yourself to healthy diet knowing that there are foods that can poison your body?
Do you indulge in premarital sex for pleasure or do you refrain because you don’t want your body to catch STD or AIDS?
Do you read and try to learn something new or do you just let your brain wither and get wasted?
To Love Others
Would you look into the eyes of a dirty and shabbily-dressed child whom you meet in the street or would you look at the other way? Would you give because you care?
Would you help a distressed mother who needs money because her child is very sick even if you do not know her? (However, she showed you a doctor’s prescription.)
Would you initiate communication with your wife after an ugly argument knowing that she’s hurting too as much as you do?
Do you lie to promote your own interest at the expense of others?
How do we pursue our purpose in life?
God calls us to do our best and to excel in fulfilling our purpose in life. The only way for you and me to do this is to operate within the vicinity of our talents, and innate skills. Otherwise, you and I won’t shine our shiniest. We will only be average.
Before we were born, God had embedded into the fiber of our being our talents and innate skills; and each and every one of us differs in the kind, and in the amount of talents. For example, some are good in singing, dancing, acting, speaking, writing, cooking, designing, building, teaching, leading, etc., while some are more talented than others. Why God made us different?
We all have the same purpose in life, but we have different ways of serving these; we have different divine responsibilities. God choose our talents because He has specific ‘ways’ in mind how each and every one of us can fulfill our purpose in life. Therefore, to have a clearer idea ‘how’ we should pursue our purpose in life, we should discover what are our talents and innate skills. And then use these to show our love for God, and our love for others as much are ourselves.
Why on earth God created us this way?
We are not an accident or a coincidence. We are intentionally crafted and created by God to be part of a BIG picture, a picture bigger than any of us.
We are all part of one body with Christ as the head. There is an invisible thread that interconnects all of us. This means that if one part is hurt, the rest will suffer in one way or another. If one part becomes sick or cancerous, the rest of the body will suffer sooner or later. Think about it for a minute, and ask this question: “What will happen to our team if one member is sick, miserable or sinful?” Start with your family, then your neighborhood, then your workplace, then your city, then your country, and then finally the world. Think hard. It’s not really that difficult to see, isn’t it?
You see, we are all created to love God, and to care for one another. And our Master Craftsman placed a mechanism inside each and every one of us that will send waves of peace, satisfaction, and ecstasy if we aligned ourselves to our real purpose in life. This is the reason why it feels really good, and right to be close with our God. This is also the reason why you won’t feel peace and real happiness when you allow yourself to become selfish, indifferent and aloof. It’s like cutting off the oxygen to your spirit.
Now here’s the brighter part. If you don’t like the direction of your life now, and you feel as if you are chasing something that you can’t find or that your life doesn’t count much then maybe, just maybe your life is not aligned to your real purpose in life. It’s time to go back to your oasis, and live the life God calls you to be. Follow your purpose in life. Use your talents to serve God’s purpose for you.
PS: Now you understand the deep reasons behind God’s 5th commandment: “Thou shall not kill.” When God tell us to do something, He is not just bossing us around, He has deep reasons. And it is to our best interest to listen and follow. Amen?