Paul is a retired American expat living in Thailand. Besides being an English teacher and translator, Paul likes languages and most sports.
What Is the Purpose of My Life on Earth?
Although I attended Catholic schools through the eighth grade as a boy, I never gave deep thought to the real purpose of my life. Like most people, I thought it was necessary to go to college and prepare for a profession. In my case, it was studying to become a doctor.
After not getting into medical school and becoming a doctor, I served my country in the Navy for almost four years and then taught English in Taiwan. While teaching English in Taiwan, I got married to a Taiwanese and started to raise a family.
Returning to the United States after a six-year stay in Taiwan, I secured employment with the federal government and then ten years later went through a divorce.
Not until my third wife and reaching the age of 75 did I finally realize the real purpose of my life. Up until this time, it had not been achieving success and getting rich. Sexual gratification, marriage, and raising a family also had not been the real purpose of my life.
The real purpose of my life as I have recently discovered is to love and worship the Lord my God as creator and savior. It also is to love one another as I love myself.
In this article, after explaining why we need a purpose for living, I reflect on the common purposes of life which I have experienced. Having found my real purpose in life, I explain how we prepare for the afterlife by accepting and worshiping God as our creator and savior and by loving one another as we love ourselves.
Why We Need a Purpose in Life
Life without a purpose is meaningless. We would be like a boat without a rudder aimlessly drifting in the world while we spend our time on earth. The daily routine of satisfying our basic needs of eating, drinking, and sleeping would be devoid of any hope or thing to look forward to.
What Are the Common Purposes in Life
The most common purposes in life include achieving career success, getting rich, satisfying sexual desires, getting married, and raising a family. A few people devote their lives to God by becoming priests, monks, or nuns.
As a child, most people are asked what they want to be when they grow up. When I was young, popular responses included doctor, engineer, teacher, and nurse. High school graduates would then study in college for these careers to be successful.
Many consider getting a lot of money and being rich the primary purpose in life. Some achieve this by becoming businesspersons and investing wisely. Others attempt to do it by gambling, stealing, or other dishonest ways.
Satisfying sexual drive and desire lead some men to become playboys for most of their lives and avoid permanent long-term commitment and a relationship with a partner. Many times, women are regarded as trophies and merely sexual objects.
Other people, traditionally, will get married and have children. Their purpose in life is to raise a family with moral values.
Finally, a few people devote their lives to God. They do this by going into a seminary, or convent, or doing missionary work.
What Is The Real Purpose of My Life?
We are all born with both a body and a soul.
Having a soul or an inner spirit is what makes us different from other animals. With a soul, we can think and communicate by speaking and writing. Our souls also express feelings and emotions of happiness, sorrow, hate, love, anger, and compassion. The conscience in our souls also lets us know what is right and wrong.
Every human being has a soul because we are all created in the image of God who expressed His spirit or soul in His son Jesus Christ who lived 2,000 years ago.
At death, the soul leaves the body which will eventually decompose. The soul, however, will live on for eternity. For this reason, it is necessary to prepare your soul for life after death while you are still living on earth.
How Do We Prepare Our Souls for Life After Death?
In preparing our souls for life after death, we must have faith in a supreme creator. Without this faith, death would be the end of both our body and soul.
I believe that I was created by a supreme omnipotent God who manifested Himself in Jesus Christ while on earth for 33 years. This God is also present in a spirit that resides in every person. We truly are created in the image of God. This faith was instilled in me by attending Catholic schools for eight years and by studying the Bible.
With faith in God as my creator and savior, I can prepare my soul for life after death.
I can have faith that my soul will live with God for eternity by following his two great commandments which are as follow:
1. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
2. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Mark 12: 28-34
Loving the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, and mind means that I will love, worship, and have no God but Jesus. Money, success, or any other kind of idol will never be loved and worshiped. All of these can not take the place of God the Father, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
Loving my neighbor as myself means that I will love all people. Jesus illustrates this love with the story of the good Samaritan who shows mercy to his injured neighbor.
My love for God and all people can also be expressed by holding the moral values of love, compassion, understanding, generosity, honesty, patience, justice, peace-making, and assisting all in need.
By following the two great commandments on earth our reward for eternity in heaven will be great. This is our purpose for living in the world.
© 2019 Paul Richard Kuehn