The Meaning of Life. What is the perfect center of God‘s will for our lives?
Well, what did God create human beings for in the first place? He created human beings and all the animals and the very Earth itself for one specific reason: because he wanted to. Just because he got pleasure from creating people and animals and planets. He created people to be people and animals to be animals. Like any artist, he got a block of marble with which to sculpt the ideal form in his head into a physical form. He is fulfilled as a Creator by simply beholding us as his artistic creation.
He created a perfectly harmonious, utopian ecosystem with all of God’s creation feeling maximum pleasure by doing what it was created to do and simultaneously giving God maximum pleasure by His creation doing what it was created to do. And being consistent with the ideal of perfect creation, He created everything to last forever, to have eternal life.
But these self-conscious, autonomous creatures, human beings – being perfectly created with free will beyond just animalistic instincts – eventually chose to do things inconsistent with God‘s ideal blueprint for His ecosystem. By choosing to go about life away from God’s way mankind distanced itself from its very life source and the very thing which would bring it maximum fulfillment. And so their eternal life was cut off and they eventually died in this original utopia.
But the Creator loved the world that He had created and wanted it to be as perfect as it originally was – an eternally-existing, maximally healthy ecosystem. So He promised mankind that He would renew the corrupted world and start over yet again, but this time He would resurrect mankind in spiritual bodies that wouldn’t be subject to physical death. He promised to give this eternal life to anyone who wants to live forever with Him in His perfected creation, as He originally intended.
God then gave us proof that He would follow through with His promise of eternal life when He became a physical man on Earth (who was known as Jesus of Nazareth), died an undeniable, physical death witnessed by many, and then was resurrected in a spiritual body with the very eternal life He promised.
He displayed this spiritual body and the proof of this resurrected, eternal life to many people in the area where He died (Israel about 2000 years ago). But we today have even greater proof of this promise of eternal life than people did in the first century. We can look back through history and see that there was clearly a supernatural power spreading this proclamation of eternal life throughout the modern world, which only confirmed the reality of this good news. The message started in an overlooked city, from an oppressed people group, conflicted with the ruling Empire’s beliefs, was persecuted by the Emperor himself who was trying to erase it, and still the message passively spread through the entire empire (without the use of authority or force) until, against all odds, the Emperor himself believed it within 250 years of the message’s beginning. There’s no explanation for something like that happening.
And so here we are today, with the hope of our own resurrection and eternal life. But this new eternal life is not dependent on us obeying God‘s ideal blueprint for living, it’s a supernatural, free gift extended to anyone who believes and asks God for it. Now we are truly free to give God maximum pleasure by being the human beings that He created us to be, humans that are as healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually as possible, living as close to His ideal design as possible, pursuing our passions and talents all out, but also without the risk and fear of breaking his rules and thus losing his favor, life, and love.
But God isn’t going to force His generous, sacrificial gift of eternal life on anyone. People that don’t want to be resurrected, don’t want to live forever, don’t want to be as healthy and fulfilled as possible, don’t want to be with their source of eternal life – ie, God – don’t have to be, and God won’t give those people eternal life after they die.
This is the meaning of life, the perfect center of God’s will for our lives: being what God originally created us to be, being as human as possible, being as fulfilled and healthy as possible in every area, and having eternal life. This is what gives God the most glory possible.
(Written Easter 2019, as inspired by an interview with Rich Mullins)