• Do you think there is a purpose in being here?
• If so what do you think the purpose of being here is?
• Do you think that there is a meaning to life?
• Why do you think humans are here on Earth?
My answers: Let me say first of all that there is no right or wrong answer to these big questions.
The real issue is whether or not we are ready to seriously grapple with them and to see that we are connected, in some way, to the rest of the universe and that our being alive is making a difference.
Do you think there is a purpose in being here?
Yes! - but it’s not a pre-paid package. It is not all set out before hand. I know not everyone thinks this but I do.
It is the ultimate intention that people have a full and abundant life. But some die of sickness; some get killed; some good people die young; some cold hearted people live a long time. Thousands of children live in poverty and they know only cruelty and hunger. So I cannot believe that everyone’s life is all planned out by some God in the sky.
We just need to look at our own life and see the mistakes we make, the changes of direction we take, and know that each day presents new opportunity - at least in this very comfortable world of New Zealand. It is not so in a lot of the world .
To think that God has a pre-set plan for every human and that we are just little puppets, is a ‘cop out’.
If so what do you think the purpose of being here is?
I understand that our purpose is to create, bring some thing new and leave something of an intangible nature -
something that will outlast us – when we die.
What we are doesn’t change, but who we are does, and it is this ability and desire to change who we are that reveals the purpose of our being here.
Do you think there is a meaning to life?
Definitely yes! That meaning of life is all around us - the way things live for a time, sheltering others, needing others, breathing in or absorbing oxygen, or giving out carbon dioxide, and when something dies it still enriches
the planet and gives something to the atmosphere.
The meaning of our life is definitely not about the physical things we build or what we collect or what others think of us. That might give temporary satisfaction but that’s about it. In terms of the scale of time these things last a moment.
BUT the real question is: Is there a meaning to my life. (that is really the same question as Why do you think humans are here on earth?)
How anyone answers that question matters to me very much. I can only speak from experience, reading and observing others.
I see my purpose/meaning as:
* knowing I am connected to others - that what I do and think and pray somehow affects others and indeed, the whole universe
* living in the present by giving myself fully to each day and to others that come into my company
* being fully with people - listening, thinking good thoughts for them, responding to them, sensing their journey.
That does not mean I don’t plan for tomorrow. Of course I do. I plan to live as long as possible so I need to plan for good health; enough money so I am not a burden on anyone; enough resources to have enough to share; enough friends to have a community who knows my name; children who love me and whom I can love even if they are not my own. Let me love other people’s children.
What makes up humans is the same stuff that makes up the matter in the universe - the plants, the air……the atoms that make up me and you are millions of years old.
They were all there after the big bang. So nothing that makes us what we are is wasted; what we are is still there after we die. Who we are is the big variable. I like to think it is.
I see myself as belonging to God. I believe in God.
What is the role of a God or God in all of this?
I understand God as the life in the universe that creates hope and love. That love in people that uplifts and brings hope and sets others free, is the presence of God in people. God is the spirit of love that brings the best out of people and enables them to forgive and forget.
The best way I understand the nature of God revealed in people is through the life of Jesus.
I think Jesus knowingly revealed the nature of God to people.
This Love he revealed unites cultures, religions, races and ages. Jesus attempted to do that, and his life was an example of that. There was no magic in it; no deceit and no points to earn for heaven etc.
Jesus was beyond and above any one religion or culture or race or nationality.
This is the hope of the world and at the centre of the meaning of life but we are sadly lacking in it .
That is not because it is not there and available, but we don’t want to see it clearly enough or listen enough, to change what we do and who we are.
Jesus said ‘ Lose your life to find it”. He was talking about being prepared to lose what we value most and cling to, to find a new way to live. That’s a big challenge for every adult, every household, every country and every government.
For small children it is different. They have an innate presence of God………
Rev Pauline Stewart