The rain patters on the skylight in my cottage. The gentle yet constant and irregular rhythm soothes my soul as I stare past the blurred and rain-speckled glass. The trees are beginning to bloom. My flowers are finally coming back to life. The sun will soon warm the air. Life seems perfect, yet my heart is not content.
My house is clean, my marriage is wonderful, my friends are loyal, my job is busy, I am healthy and able, yet something in me remains unsettled. I can’t shake it and I can’t live contently as though there is nothing more than all of this.
Time and time again, I come back to this age-old question: what am I here for? I wonder if I am the only one that can’t just live without this question haunting me, and moving me toward something greater than me.
I can’t just live life; I don’t want to just live life.
I have given myself to fashion, beauty and success, chasing after them to no avail. They each left me empty and deeply dissatisfied, yet I remember their charm as they still try to allure me with their false promises:
Fashion. I gave my identity to fashion. Fashion promised me she’d promote me socially. Though I hated the mall, she promised me popularity and self-esteem—both of which I lacked. She promised me endless compliments and second looks. She promised me an identity. But the compliments were never endless and the self-esteem never amounted to worth. Fashion deceived me and used me.
Beauty. I gave my body to beauty, desperately trying to please the mirror and reflect the image of those air-brushed models. Beauty led me farther and farther into the desert, as an unattainable mirage promising to quench my thirst once I reached the image. But “beauty” left me weak, angry, depressed and thirsty for freedom.
Success. I gave my heart to success, certain he could make a name for me and give me the pottery-barn home I desired. I spent hours daydreaming and imagining about the life that awaited me out of college. I would have given countless hours to the job and denied my friends and family had success met me in Davis, but success didn’t keep his side of the deal. When I asked the Master Boss, Jesus, to show me the truth about success, success fled like a fraud businessman questioned about his credentials. Jesus shined the light on his intentions to allure me toward money and fame and away from eternal prosperity. I gave my heart to success for years, yet he deceived me and would have left me empty.
Empty. Dissatisfied. Broken. There must be more…
There must be more to life than consumerism, beauty, success. The question remains: What am I here for? Only one thing satisfies my soul and quenches the inner depths of my longing: Jesus. He is faithful. He gave me identity. He gave me fulfillment. He gave me life. And my life is now marked with a purpose and a destiny greater than anything this world offers me. When I stand in the overwhelming, undeniable presence of my God, nothing else matters. I realize I was created to love Him and know Him.
See, something happened to me when my spirit was awakened by the God of the universe. Something changed in my DNA when the blood of Jesus washed over me. I can’t live anymore, at least not in the traditional sense. My life is no longer my own. It is marked with purpose. It is marked with hope. It is marked with life.
What am I here for? This question reveals one of two truths depending on the stance of my heart. When I stand in the emptiness of the world and ask this question, I know without a doubt what I am not here for: to live in the vanity of the world. I know there is more. Yet when I stand in the presence of God and ask this question, I know without a doubt what I am here for: to live in the steadfast, relentless love of Jesus; to proclaim His truths to a hopeless world; to love passionately as He has loved me.
This is purpose. This is life. This is what we were created for.