Created v. Discovered Purpose.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Everything is meaningless!” (Ecclesiastes 12:8)

Everyone has a purpose in life. What’s yours?

For the secularist, this is a question replete with value. As the theoretical masters of their own destiny, they can look at the world and choose anything. There is no higher moral standard than that which they create, no universal dictums by which to be guided, only absolute freedom. Yes, there are societal norms and cultural values that may influence their decisions, but those are ultimately guided by nothing more than groupthink and circumstance; considerations, not mandates. The individual is still at perfect liberty to say, “The purpose of my life is…” and fill in the blank any way they choose. Not a bad way to live, attractive at least, and certainly capable of providing a sense of fulfillment and meaning. Like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, life is what you want it to be!

For the followers of Jesus on the other hand, the question of purpose is not one to be pondered with infinite possibility. Instead it is discovered with definitive certainty. Our purpose is not chosen, but revealed. It comes from beyond ourselves and is therefore transcendent, and it is this transcendence that makes our answer stronger. What we might lack in liberty we make up for in personal value and determination. Because we allow a Divine hand to guide us, we can be resolved in such a way that we need not fear the world. We are driven by purpose, not the drivers of it. And so, unlike the secularist, we need not avoid the question, “does my life truly matter?”

In a coldly reasoned universe without God, meaning is subjective. Temporary. Created from the ether to which it must inevitably return. What is deemed vital today might well be set aside as valueless tomorrow. Such is the way of the world. The secularist who seeks true meaning must, therefore, avoid thinking too hard about the choice their liberty created. The followers of Jesus, on the other hand, bask in the glow of an eternal Son and know beyond measure that their life is truly valuable.

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