What’s my purpose? Why am I here on earth?
These two questions have the power to shape our perspectives and our understanding of ourselves. And our answer to these questions forms the core of how and why we go about doing our daily tasks.
“He went about doing good in the world and God was with him.” (Acts 10:38). These simple words underscore Christ’s purpose while on earth.
Perhaps it’s that simple. His life, our lives, are all about doing good in the world, about multiplying love.
That was Christ’s purpose, and he carried it out daily in whatever he did. Sitting with the woman at the well. Teaching his disciples how to pray. Breaking bread with fishermen, harlots, and tax collectors.
And what’s most noticeable about Christ’s life is what he did before he went out into the world. Each day, before he encountered others, he sat alone in solitude. He connected with his Dad. As a result, his Dad—God—was with him. As a result of his time alone with the Father, there was a flow between their hearts, and Jesus received an inner wisdom that guided and formed him as a result of his time alone with the Father.
In his quiet times, my guess is Christ often pondered how deeply his Father loved him. Because if he didn’t have that understanding, that simple faith in his Dad’s love for him, he’d be more focused on trying to dig himself out of the hole of self-doubt and fear than doing good.
Thomas Merton says, “The root of Christian love is not the will to love, but the faith that one is loved. The faith that one is loved by God.”
Without that understanding—the faith that we are loved by God just as we are—we cannot do good in the world. Rather, we become noisy gongs trying to earn a love we’ve already been given, an unconditional, perfect love that created us and sustains our existence.
Our minds cannot fully grasp the concept of God’s unconditional love. But our hearts, that place where our soul resides, know it’s true. God loves me, God loves you, just the way we are.
Our faith in that love frees us to move into the world with a heart of gratitude, so that like Christ, God is with us, and we go about doing good. We multiply Christ’s love through ordinary tasks such as preparing a meal, greeting those we see, earning our living, listening patiently to a friend who’s overwhelmed by life. Doing good simply because we know we are loved by God and we wish to share that love.
Perhaps that’s our purpose in life: accepting the unconditional love of the Creator and allowing that love to flow in us, so that through us, God can create more love in the world.
What’s our purpose? Why are we here? I don’t know for sure. But my heart knows. And my heart is grateful for God’s unconditional love. It knows that when he uses me to put more good into the world, I feel happy on the inside. I find my reason, my purpose for living. I discover how much God truly loves us and how he multiplies his love through us. And like Christ, we go about doing good in the world—and God is with us.
—brian j plachta