Why You Exist
by Tom Goodman
September 4, 2013
Does life have any purpose? If so, what is it?
That's the first of Seven Big Questions we'll start with this Sunday. It's part of our citywide "Explore God" campaign. Bring somebody at 10 for my talk, and then encourage them to stay at 11
to discuss it with your small group.
The reigning worldview is that life has no purpose. It's a bleak claim, but anyone who questions it loses cultural cache. Just ask acclaimed philosopher Thomas Nagel. He suggested in his 2012 book, Mind and Cosmos, that natural observation
should lead anyone to see that there is intention to the world. He's still an atheist who won't attribute that evidence of design to a personal God. But just his suggestion that there is some sort of unfolding plan to the universe led to vicious attacks by many fellow academics.
But you don't have to read elite scholars to run into the question of life's purpose. The issue arises for most people simply through the weariness and dissatisfaction of daily living. In his award-winning entry, "Repetition," spoken-word poet Phil Kaye said:
My mother taught me this trick, If you repeat something over and over again, it loses its meaning.... Our existence, she said, is the same way. You watch the sunset too often, and it just becomes 6pm. You make the same mistake over and over, you'll
stop calling it a mistake. If you just wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up one day you'll forget why.
Have you forgotten why?
I suggest a single word for the purpose of life.
To discover you are loved by the Creator. To trust that everything you experience is filtered through his loving intentions. To gladly respond to his commands knowing that they are for your good. To enjoy his creation in accordance with his
instructions. To relate to men and women around you as those God also cherishes.
Love is the reason there is something and not nothing.
Live out of this truth at the center, and it changes everything. Let's talk more about it this Sunday @ 10. Send this to a friend with an invitation to join you for the worship service and your small group!
(For an excellent review of Nagel's book, check out Alvin Plantinga's article in the New Republic.)
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