The meaning of your life

A few days back I conversed with a couple of friends on Skype. I think it is a pretty common thing for people to ask certain kind of questions when they talk to a priest. Questions like: “So what do you think about homosexuals?” or “How can a good God allow for so much evil to happen?” and so on. This time I was asked what I though the meaning of our lives to be. “What is the meaning with life?” This question is asked my many people (arguably by all) at least one time in life. Today I am going to try to answer that question for you:)

The fact that we raise this question at all speaks volumes about why we are here in a sense of that there is a reason at all. It is a hard philosophical argument to try to logically motivate why we ask this question if there is no reason for our existence at all. Why do we ask the question why? If we are mere chance we would have not been concerned with the question “why we are here and what the meaning is”. The only thing we would have been concerned with is “What should I eat?” This category falls under the other much established philosophical reasoning that there is a reason for everything that is happening or that there is an effect or consequence to every action. Hence, there is an effect, a consequence or a reason for us asking: “What is the meaning with life?” Some of the more common answers to this question are:

– “The meaning of life is to live it.”, “The meaning of life is to prolong it”, The meaning of life is to accumulate as much wealth as possible”, “The meaning of life is 64” (Travelers guide to the Galaxy), “The meaning of life is to die”, “The meaning of life depends on your own assessment of life” and “The meaning of life is to do good things to other people”.

All those meanings are in a way pretty good answers because they do hold some truth. The meaning of life is to live as in the sense of living in the present and enjoy life in balance and peace. The meaning of life is to prolong it as in the sense of understanding life as an eternal one, life is sacred and is not supposed to stop (die). The meaning of life is to accumulate wealth if wealth is understood with a heavenly perspective where true wealth is to give things away. The meaning of life is 64 if we by this mean that there is a definite answer and reason to life. The meaning of life is to die if by this we mean that to we die from ourselves and our small egos and agendas. The meaning of life depends on you assessment of it if this entails that you are searching eternally for the source of life in humbleness, you will find It if you do. The meaning of life is to do good things to people if there is no hidden motive or condition when you do this.

But you see we do not usually think about the above statements like this. We kind of take them at face value and we separate those statements and meanings by holding to one of them, and then we make one of them our only reason or meaning.

Western philosophy has taught us that we must exclude one thing to be able to hold another one as true. Scholasticism and systematization has taught us that we can only come to know the meaning of life through investigation and observation. I would claim that we can only know the meaning of life by way of participation in that very life. We are not supposed to be by standers watching life happen. We are supposed to be a part of Life itself. If we partake in Life then we will experience the meaning of it. If we do not we will forever be haunted by not knowing the meaning.

The reason for us asking the question of the “meaning of life” is that Life itself, Life within us asks this question so that we would start to search for Life. It is when we do not listen to this “voice” anymore, when we stop to search, that we encounter eternal trouble. We lose the sense of beauty in life. We take life for granted. We become jaded and belittle our life so that we can ignore the question and continue to dismiss opinions about the meaning of life with our pride.

So there it is, the meaning of your life is to continue to search for Life. The meaning of your life is to be a partaker of Life Itself. The meaning of your life is to more and more discover that you, just by living, has all the potential to discover what Life is about. And when you do you will start to truly Live. The meaning of your life is continued growth by way of leaving behind the things that are in the way for you to receive and see Life. The meaning of your life is to find Peace.

The meaning of your life is to realize that is not your life. It is a gift to you and you should give that gift to others as well. In giving it up, you will receive it.

The meaning of your life is to realize that your life is a consequence of an encounter with Life Himself, and to forever grow closer in your relationship with Him.

In Christ

Fr. Jakob

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