I Found Purpose and Meaning for My Life
The more one thinks on life itself,
The more perplexing it will seem.
There seems no rhyme or reason there,
No purpose clearly seen.
. . .
From generation to generation;
From Stone-Age man in early days,
To a complex human being.
. . .
But the question must still be raised,
What purpose does life fulfill?
Why was man put on the earth
With power to think and reason?
I search in vain for an answer true,
I fear, until I die,
But when I face the only God,
Then will I know the reason why?
---Assignment for a literature class, April 23, 1964
My high school experience had been positive, but I was confused about the future. John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. The sexual revolution was eroding moral foundations I assumed good. The Viet Nam War would make my generation pawns on a political chessboard. What is truth? Where am I going? Is there any purpose in life?
I began my first year studies in Physics at a prestigious university far from home. I would find answers in science. Yet, instead, my questions were deeper and harder. I found little purpose in studies and even less in social involvement. I rejected my family religion as unnecessary and irrelevant. God? If he existed, was not there for me. Yet…What is truth? Where am I going? Is there purpose in life?
Out of respect for a friend I attended a discussion about Christianity. Irrelevant. Forgetful. But the people were friendly. Someone invited me to a conversation. We discussed the possibility of a personal relationship with God. Maybe, but not for me. Jesus Christ? Interesting, but the story seemed so ancient.
I continued my search. Studies that didn’t satisfy; relationships that were not real, pathways that had no purpose. Only increasing despair and hopelessness.
One day I entered again into a discussion about God. As we talked, I recognized what I had heard weeks earlier. God loves you and has a purpose for your life; Jesus shows us God’s plan; I listened with interest but with questions. I challenged, he answered. At the end of the conversation I was up for an experiment. Accept the gift of God, trust Jesus Christ for his offer of life. I uttered a simple prayer of trust. “Jesus I want to know you. I trust you.”
In the days that followed I sensed a change; a different way of looking at things. I entered into dialogue with God and read about his offer of true life; I sensed his presence. The questions I had asked so often, “Where am I going? What is truth? Is there purpose in life?” began to find their answer in Jesus’ words in John 14:6:
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father unless he comes through me.”
The journey began in 1965; I no longer wait for answers to the questions I raised in that simple poem. I found them in Jesus Christ.
Dr. Edward Murray