When God finally revealed himself to me and confirmed that there was a purpose to each persons’ existence I was elated. All of us were put on this earth to accomplish a specific goal. To fulfill our destiny all we need do was complete this God given task in the place and time allotted for us. I had struggled for so many years with the question of meaning in my life but now I had been given the ultimate gift, the knowledge that life is not just some random series of chaotic events unfolding around us in space and time over which we have no control. Rather, our fate was predetermined by God. We would spend all of our days constantly striving to complete the objective God had planned for us from the moment of our birth. Nothing was meaningless. Each day we moved closer to fulfilling our true purpose.
If only I had stopped my questioning there. Unfortunately once I knew I had a purpose I had to know what it was. God was still in my presence and listening and so I asked. “Are you sure you want to know Stephen?” God replied. The tone of his voice and look on his face suggested that my answer should have been no. Instead I pressed further. “Heavenly Father I must know. Please tell me. What is my purpose?” God paused for a moment, seeming to gather his thoughts. Finally he spoke. “You have already fulfilled your purpose Stephen Levin. In fact you achieved your destiny two years ago.” Now I was puzzled. “What happened two years ago? I don’t recall any memorable events or experiences from that time”. God spoke again. “Exactly two years ago on October 21st 2013 at 1:36 pm you crossed W. 24th St. and bumped into a young girl who was crossing in the other direction.” Now my curiosity was truly peaked. “So” I replied. “What does that have to do with my purpose in life?” Again God paused briefly before continuing. “That was your purpose. When you bumped that girl you slowed her just enough to prevent her from being hit by a car that was speeding along 25th St. If not for the delay she would have been struck and killed.” “I see”. I replied “and that girl will grow up to be a great leader or inventor or musician or something right?” I asked, expecting that the girl I had inadvertently saved from an untimely death must be of great importance for the future of the world. “No. She will become a drug addict at age 18 and die of a heroin overdose three years later shortly after her 21st birthday.” “But God I don’t understand. If she is not meant to accomplish anything of worth in her life why was it my purpose to save her? Why was it important? God sighed softly before replying “I never said your purpose was important only that you had one just as every other human being, and plant, an animal does”. “But why give us purpose if it means so little?” I was panicky now. My thoughts were racing. I had fulfilled my destiny but it meant nothing. “Surely some people must have a greater purpose. A reason for living that truly will make a difference in this world?” God laughed for a moment than replied. “Yes indeed Stephen some do. You however do not.” “Then why did you put me here? Why have me save that girl in that time and place?” “Why indeed Mr. Levin? Perhaps because not every purpose needs to have a meaning, a justification. Some purposes are reasons in and of themselves. They are given to all things because without them living beings could not exist. Creating life without purpose is something even I cannot do.” I felt a great sadness as I struggled to make sense of God’s answer to me. “Since my purpose has been fulfilled what am I to do now. What shall I make of the rest of my life? God smiled as he replied “I have given you free will. It is up to you to decide. I could however suggest one thing you might consider”. “Please God. Anything. Help me decide what I should do.” “Find your own purpose. Do not look to God for meaning. Look inside yourself and when we meet again upon your death you can share it with me”. I always look forward to a good story. Especially one with meaning.”