Have you ever wondered what’s the point of it all? Why am I here? Surely there’s a bigger purpose to life? You wake up every morning, go to school, do your homework, hang out with your friends, have dinner, Facebook, go to bed, wake up and do it all again the next day. What’s all this about and what is this daily routine leading to? Maybe it’s hard to keep plugging away with study when you can’t see where it’s going or why.
When I was a teenager I was asking questions like…What’s Jesus got to do with modern life? How is Jesus personally relevant in my life? Life is good so why do I need Jesus and all that churchy stuff?
No matter what age you are – going through puberty, navigating adult life or going grey and wrinkly – everyone has a deep desire to be in relationship. We want to feel loved, accepted and appreciated and this is perfectly normal. But we can look for love and affirmation in the wrong way and fill this desire to be loved in unhealthy ways.
We can lose ourselves in activities, friendships, school, work, sport…..but remove all that and we are left alone with our thoughts and may become bored, anxious, miserable and feel an aching void within. No matter how many activities we fill our day with or how many friends we have, these things can’t give us lasting satisfaction.
I remember in high school I had a crush on the hottest guy at school. He was good looking, tanned, athletic, tall, had incredibly white teeth and a dazzling smile. When he looked at the girls they would faint in the corridors. Yes that’s how cute he was! One day I was running late to class and being the clumsy person I am in my mad rush I dropped all my books on the floor. I bent down to pick up all my books and someone bent down to help me pick my books up. I looked up and I was met by the gaze of my crush and my heart just melted in that moment. I said thank you and got up to rush to class and in my love struck moment I accidentally dropped all my books again!
So whether it’s idolising our crushes like I did, doing silly things to get attention from the cutest boy or girl in school, overthinking our outfits to impress people or posting selfies on Facebook – all these things satisfy us temporarily and give us a false sense of security. They don’t fill our inner yearning to be loved. This inner emptiness and sense of having no purpose
plagues many people’s lives.
When I was in my early 20’s I battled with this inner emptiness and I felt my life didn’t have a purpose. At this time I was questioning God’s existence and didn’t see how God fitted into my life. I would only go to mass because my mum forced me to go every Sunday but I found mass incredibly boring. I remember one Sunday I refused to go to mass and mum got super mad. I ended up going because I figured one hour of mass is far less torture than one minute of Mum chucking a sad!
During this time I would go to clubs with my friends on the weekends. I remember being on the dance floor amongst drunk people yelling in my face because you can’t hear a thing over the music and despite being surrounded by people, I felt all alone and like there was something more to life. I always left the club feeling empty. So clubbing wasn’t the answer to my search for purpose. So what did I try next? I moved onto boys. I entered a relationship with a guy and thought that would satisfy my inner desire to be validated and loved. I made unhealthy choices and he became the focus of my life.
During this time I asked God if he’s a good God why was he allowing me to suffer in this relationship? In my situation the suffering was brought upon because of the choices I was making where I had turned my back on God. But God allowed me to go through this period in my life because this difficult period helped me to become closer to God and see God’s purpose for my life.
During this relationship I felt I was stumbling in the dark searching for meaning and purpose. Have you ever stumbled around in a dark room trying to find the light switch? You knock into things, hurt your big toe and you feel uncertain and insecure. But at last you find the light switch and orient yourself and immediately you feel secure. You know exactly how to proceed. Our experience is similar when we come to see that Jesus is relevant in our lives and we get to know Jesus. He leads us out of our darkness, confusion and uncertainty and into his light. We see that God has a plan for our life which gives us meaning and purpose.
God says that he has plans to prosper each and every one of you, not plans to harm you. Do we want to be like so many people today stumbling in the darkness without Jesus or do we want to believe that God has good plans for our lives and be satisfied knowing he has it all under control and we don’t need to worry. When we follow God we discover a sense of purpose and direction for our lives. God helps us to overcome our struggles and gives us strength and hope when we are beyond despair.
After praying for some time over what direction to take in the relationship, I knew God had a better plan for my life. Once I broke up with the guy Gods purpose became clear – He led me into youth ministry and I love being able to share my love for God with amazing young people. Remember it doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past – if you desire to receive God’s love and forgiveness you will, if you come to Him with all your heart.
I love a saying by Saint Augustine – “Our hearts are restless until they rest in God.” Yes, a deep yearning for God is written in every single person’s heart. We only need to let him into our lives and build a relationship with Jesus, the only one who can truly satisfy us. But that’s easier said than done! We can fill the emptiness in our hearts with everything but God. Where do you find your sense of purpose and fulfillment from? Are you satisfied with your life? What are the things in life you are occupying yourself with that you need to overcome and let go of?
Jesus died for us over 2000 years ago – but His story of love is still relevant in our lives today. He promises good things for our lives if we only have faith in Him. Jesus is the victor who won the battle for us and He makes all the difference in the world. Will you let Jesus’ love penetrate your heart and make a difference in every aspect of your life?