Every week, my office puts out a newsletter that lists daily activities and group exercises available to employees, such as workout classes and group runs. Additionally, there are little snippets of motivational anecdotes intended to help better the lives of readers and encourage a more positive outlook on life. This week’s motivational piece?
“The purpose in life is to be happy” as quoted by the Dalai Lama.
Of course, some folks are generally just happy people. They wake up happy, they go to sleep happy. Their happiness may even be too much for some to be around. But most of us find happiness in things. That is, there’s some thing that makes us happy. Thus, through the law of transitivity, we can say that if the purpose in life is to be happy, then the purpose in life is to do things that make us happy.
Just yesterday (Sunday), Pastor Dave Hoffman touched upon this seemingly unanswerable question, what is the purpose of life? From Colossians 1:9-12 he pulled out one very important fact – that we should be praying to grow in understanding and knowledge of His will for our lives (re: our purpose) . If our purpose in life is built upon things which can be taken away or removed, then we are on very dangerous ground. What happens when our purpose is to continually climb the corporate ladder, but we lose our job? What happens when our purpose is to save money and buy a house, but the house is destroyed by some natural disaster? What happens when our purpose is to live for our wives, husbands and children but they are taken away by the hand of Death? Where then does our purpose and, ultimately, happiness come from?
Now, this doesn’t mean it’s wrong or immoral to strive for these things. It’s okay to be ambitious and motivated in your job. It’s okay to own a house and provide a safe refuge for your family and friends. It’s also definitely okay to ensure that you lead your family and raise your children in the way of the Lord. But when our purpose in life is dependent upon things which can be taken away at any moment, we
have need to know that there is more to living and more to life’s purpose than just fulfilling our selfish desires. Our purpose shouldn’t depend upon things that can fade away. Instead, we should be grounded upon the unwavering foundation of Truth.
“11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-12)
“19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)