This afternoon, I'm sitting at my desk pondering the two certainties of life: death and taxes. If I live out my natural life, I'm about half done (though, in light of this morning's events in Boston, I don't take a natural death for granted). And with every passing year (and decade), I have to face the fact that there are no do-overs. We only age in one direction, and that's up. Where has the time gone? And, what was the meaning of it? Where's this narrative going?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
I think about the meaning and purpose of my life often. Am I doing what I’m meant to do? I believed, as a child, that the purpose of this life was a trial to determine our eternal destiny: if we were good, we’d go to heaven; if not…bad news.
I still think like that in some ways, though I try not to be so legalistic, I’m not sure there’s a way to overcome those old records. But, the way I think about the purpose, or meaning, of life is evolving. I believe I have a purpose that goes beyond proving myself to be “good” enough. I have been given certain abilities for a reason.
The parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) is a story I heard from the pulpit as a child and one I have often returned to in my search for meaning. I know that the talents in the parable refer to money, not skills/abilities, but I like to think that since this is a parable, the current meaning of “talent” can very well apply.
I believe the purpose/meaning of life is to live for God, seeking His will first, and to use my God-given talents to the fullest, rather than bury them. In the parable, the last servant – who had been given only one talent – buried his talent so it wouldn’t be lost. This servant was reprimanded and the talent was taken away.
I’d love to hear from you: What do you think the meaning of life is?