By: Gabriel Adams
What is the meaning of life? And is there just one meaning or many? These are old questions, but still very pertinent to how we function and discover this life that has been gifted to us.
The first question to consider when determining the answer is what the term “meaning” is referring to. Is it referring to a meaning as in a definition, or a meaning as in a purpose? The answer then branches off into two different schools of thought from that point, depending which approach you take.
Let’s discuss the first option: the word “meaning” referring to “definition.” Another way of stating this approach is, “What does this life mean?” That is a strange thing to ask, to some. It implies that there is some unapparent code to be cracked. Well, if there were not some mystery here, we wouldn’t ask ourselves what the meaning of life is, now, would we?
This life seems pretty straightforward, right? Or does it?
Life itself, as in the actual day to day living, can be quite enigmatic in fact. Just as soon as you think you have something or someone figured out, you discover another angle. Sometimes a turn of events or sudden discovery will cause you to change the entire way you view someone or something. Isn’t that strange?
So then we ask: why is that? What does this all mean? Is there are a reason life is so complex? Most of us, at some point or another, have wished life were simpler, that what you see could be what you get. That would surely ease a lot of the seemingly unneeded stress in our lives.
On the other hand, isn’t it the complications of people and the intricacies in nature that makes things more beautiful? Isn’t the sunset gorgeous after the sky has been blue or grey all day? All of those colors just beaming out onto everything, including our faces and into our eyes! What if there was only just one color? What if the sky could only be grey, or only be blue? Wouldn’t that get boring? Of course it would.
Now here’s where it gets tricky: if things get boring that are not complex enough, why is THAT? That speaks to the next level of depth, which points to a creator. If we were “wired” in such a way that complexity is fascinating, who was the electrician? Who wired us?
Was there just some big explosion accidentally millions of years ago, and all of this just “came to be” for no apparent reason. Is this all happenstance? Are the patterns in life just coincidental? Common sense and common wisdom can agree on this: there are no coincidences. Everything does truly happen for a reason. It’s an accepted scientific and philosophical fact.
So then, to the other side of the question: what is the PURPOSE of life? Why are we here? Is there some special deed that is to be done? Those who believe in God believe that the reason is to learn to love God, love others, have faith, learn to appreciate things, to learn to have compassion and so on.
When we consider the meaning of life, from either of the two aforementioned angles, it always leads us toward God. Do you believe? If you do not, that is your choice. But why not ask yourself why? What is it that causes you to be faithless? Be sure the reason is one that is truly valid and not some reaction or cop-out. Only you can be honest enough with yourself to determine that.
Regardless of what you believe or don’t believe, be true to yourself and your convictions, to the best of your ability. That’s all anyone can ask of himself or herself.
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