Life is a fascinating mystery and a constant challenge. Yet, often, we are not content with merely experiencing life as it is.

Particularly in youth, life is often seen as dull, boring, and unappealing. To add colour to their lives, people attach various adjectives to it: happy, fulfilled, successful. We might not even realise the message this unnatural embellishment conveys. This tapestry of epithets, unfortunately imposed on the act of living, attempts to add colour to life but, in fact, diminishes and trivialises the miracle and purpose of life itself.

To discover the purpose for which we were created, it is beneficial to make room for questions within our inner forum. From the outset, we should allow space for a question of such magnitude: What is the purpose for which God created us? And what is the reason behind this decision? The very act of seeking a purpose or reason for all things might sometimes seem absurd, but these inquiries can mark the dawn of a new beginning for someone who is lost, despondent, or at the edge of their endurance.

To offer an initial answer to this question, I’ll draw on a scene from the world of art. A particularly profound and amusing episode comes to mind from the classic movie “Forrest Gump.” At one point, the main character feels an impulse to run without any specific reason. However, his running extends over long distances and continues for years. Eventually, he lands on the front pages of newspapers and is regularly featured on TV news. As more people start running with him, reporters begin chasing him with microphones, eager for a statement. The main question from the press is why he is running, and their assumptions, implied by their questions, vary widely: Are you running for world peace? For the homeless? For women’s rights? For environmental protection? For animals? Everyone believes he must have a specific cause. No one can fathom that Forrest is running without a particular reason. His disarmingly simple and unremarkable response is: “I just felt like running.” This declaration might seem absurd to those who don’t understand that some things are profound merely by existing. Their purpose is inherent in their very existence.

So, what is the purpose for which we were created? We were created simply to be. We were created to celebrate life in its simplicity and, by doing so, fulfil our purpose. To exist and to live is the fundamental reason God created us.

Life is perfect in its very existence because “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31), and “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). He created us to live and inhabit the Earth. This is enough. No adjectives. No embellishments.

Secondly, we cannot overlook the Bible’s assertion that humanity was created by God: “So God created mankind in his own image, […] male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). In this context, we are aware that we cannot evade our condition as bearers of the divine image. Once humanity was created as male and female, we learn that we are “predestined” to explore relationships in all their splendour and, at the same time, to reflect this image and likeness in everything we do and accomplish. I would call this dimension the intermediate purpose of our lives. It is the stage where we design and build the edifice of our existence on Earth.

At every stage of life, we discover and value relationships according to our age and the development achieved through growth and education. We are meant to find a purpose specific to each age. A young person will inevitably confront significant questions at this stage of life: How can I love and be loved? What can I do that is useful in this life? What mark can I leave on the lives of those around me, or what impact do I want to have in the world? This range of searching questions illustrates the frenetic quest for the stage-specific purpose of life in youth. The invitation is: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). In other words, pursue excellence in everything you do: whether you love, build a career, or work on a project. Do not be seduced by the temptation to live easily and with mediocrity! In your endeavours, don’t fall into the trap of “It’ll do just fine.” You have only one life, and you are invited to live it passionately at every stage.  

A third consideration is the quest for infinity within the finite space of our existence. The Bible tells us that God has placed “eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Searching for eternity within the confines of a finite, limited life, threatened by death and suffering, is perhaps the greatest purpose. Discovering eternity is likely the ultimate goal of our existence. It is humanity’s greatest challenge to seek eternity in a context brimming with temporal, spatial, and material limitations. This standard may seem unattainable, yet God does not waver. He does not wish to abandon this transcendent purpose for our lives, for to do so would mean leaving human existence in the darkness and despair of purposelessness.

The quest for eternity is not left without solutions, tools, or means. To uncover the mystery of cellular life, you need a microscope; to explore the astronomical secrets of the universe, you need a telescope. Similarly, to grasp the secret of eternal life, you need certain tools, perspectives, and a path. Therefore, the discovery of eternity is not left in a void but is grounded in a concrete experience: “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). This aim is the most noble challenge of human life. God created human beings with the perspective of eternity through the knowledge of the Saviour. There is no other path or chance for humanity to lift its gaze from the dust of the grave to the clarity of eternity.

The Lord Jesus Christ holds within Himself the complete mysteries of human existence, as well as those of divine existence. To know Christ is to transcend the bounds of limited existence and discover the ultimate purpose of humanity. This ultimate purpose, the supreme reason for our creation, encompasses all other purposes or meanings, whether large or small, that we may encounter. 

Mihai Miron aims to explore fundamental questions about the purpose of life from a biblical perspective.