For several weeks after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York, the newspapers reported many stories of individual families. One story was about a newlywed couple on their honeymoon in the Marriot World Trade Center Hotel on Tuesday, September 11th, 2001. They ran for their lives, barefoot, in sleep clothes and were helped to escape by strangers who gave them socks, shoes, shelter and money to get back home to Seattle. Afterwards, the new wife said that she did not ever want to be far away from her husband, because being together with family was the most important thing in life.
This story, and others like it, opened up many questions about the purpose of life. Each day we make decisions about what we do, who we spend time with or how to spend money. Are these decisions based upon our idea of the purpose of life? Or are they based on national/cultural customs? Family teachings and habits? Peer influences and activities? How do people usually decide their activities on a daily basis in your native country or elsewhere? How do you decide your own personal activities on a daily basis? Do you act today, on a philosophy of life that you have thought carefully about and decided upon? If not, what influences your daily activities?
Try to describe what you believe is the purpose of human life on the planet earth. Have you thought about this topic before? What are some of your ideas on this topic? Does your idea of the purpose of life fit people in all cultures and times – for example – does your idea of the purpose of life fit people in your native country, or in other countries such as Afghanistan, Thailand, or England?? Do you think that all countries and cultures have the same purpose for living, or does it differ in different countries and cultures?
Try to describe what you believe is the purpose of your own human life on the planet earth. Have you thought about this before? How is the purpose of your life related to the purpose of the entire race of humans? Does the purpose of your life differ from the purpose of other lives around you?
The newlywed wife said that she wanted to spend a lot of time with her new husband because “that’s what life is really about.” Do you agree with her? Many husbands and wives spend time apart, sometimes in separate countries for some purpose. How do you balance the value of family or a spouse with other values – like supporting a family, education for children, opportunities to advance in a career, serving people that are not your family?
What do these quotes from the Bible add to our discussion of purpose?
“And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it” Genesis 1:28
“And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
“For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it,” said Jesus. Luke 9:24
“You, also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5