Thursday, November 11, 2010

Why Are You Here?

One of my Facebook friends (a Christian brother) recently made the following post:
Are you doing what you were created to do?
Personally, I think this question is incredibly provocative. And the responses were quite revealing...
Girl #1: "if it was plan a Woody's Roundup party, then I'm right on track...(cough)"

Guy #1: "Apparently not...and thank you for pointing out the pathetic uselessness and futility of my life! Ok...I feel better now."

Girl #2: "Some days, maybe most days. But "we all fall down", so I know I'm in good company. (-:"

Guy #2: "I think so, I am going hunting today ;-)"

Girl #3: "Yes! I'm a childlike heart amongst children all day, and being humbled daily by the lessons that God teaches me through each one of them!!"

Girl #4: "possibly!! i know i am using my gift that i have been given!!"

Girl #5: "Well, I'm not procreating, if that's what you're asking."
Before I respond to these statements, let's look at what the Bible has to say about humanity's purpose. This list isn't exhaustively completely, but I think it hits several major points.
  • Reflect the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27)
  • Multiply and fill the earth (Gen. 1:28)
  • Work (Gen. 2)
  • "Leave and cleave" to one's mate (Gen. 2:25)
  • Preach and make disciples (Matt. 28)
What's fascinating to me is that the responses to the original question were fairly narcissistic. Their knee-jerk, immediate responses to this fairly profound questions were mostly about themselves and their personal fulfillment. Moreover, the biblically stated purposes for humanity are either unconscious or absent. (Caveat - I don't know which of my friend's respondents are Christians. I did recognize one of the names as someone I went to college with, so I think I'm on safe ground to assume she's a Christian. While I don't know the others, I have a hunch that at least one or two of the others are also Christians.)

That got me to thinking, how would I respond? Am I doing what I was created to do? Although there are a lot of tough situations in my personal life right now, I do think that overall these are the goals that direct my life. If my purpose in life was about attaining personal satisfaction, then I think I'd be really depressed. I wonder what difference it would make if people thought of their purpose in biblical terms, rather than making it self-focused, existential terms.

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