God, the meaning of life and maybe an answer
The river’s frigid water washed across his sandaled feet, the only sounds heard was his footsteps accenting his words. He stopped now and then to emphasized something he was saying, looking at me akin to a father talking to his child. I knew this was just a creation of my mind embodying my thoughts into a mental image of God, literally taking me by the hand and showing me his handiwork in everything that surrounded me.
With now nearly two straight months of rain and clouds it has somewhat restrained my outside activities and one does many things to fill the day and break any potential monotony that may be accumulating. Living alone, with no personal contact for days on end I have found that I have a great amount of uncluttered time to think about whatever takes my fancy. One topic, ‘the meaning of life’, has remained a constant over the decades and is one most of us have pondered. However I cannot go down this well traveled road of the meaning of life without encountering the detour sign for the existence of God.
For myself the question about the meaning of life would be eliminated if I could surrender my whole being and completely accept the existence of God. Then life would have a single path with road signs and directions, (the bible). I would never again have to think about why I am here and what is my purpose. It would be simple if it were not for the many different churches and the, (frail and flawed), human element of ministers, clergy and priests.
Priests, ministers and clergy of all religions are human and none are flawless thus their instructions to us ‘lay people’ are at times clouded with their interpretation of God’s word. One shinning example, for me, is when a priest would not marry me and my first wife….because I was too young. Suffice it to say I did marry her and we lived as husband and wife for 28 years until she died. I am wondering where in the bible did it say that a man could not marry when he was 18?
Sometimes even the head of a church interprets things, and at times creates rules that have no solid base in scripture. Take for instance Catholics not being allowed to eat fish on Friday. For decades it was a law in our church and then a new Pope decides it is OK to eat fish? Or the Amish and their adherence to the strictest of dress codes or how about the Mormons and their principle of no caffeine? As a young boy in school I would listen and follow whatever the Pope or for that matter a priest or nun told me to do. Now older and able to think things through I see that many ministers and those in charge pontificate knowledge that we are to blindly accept.
At 48 I thought I found a meaning for my life when my wife was diagnosed with Scleroderma but when she died I was again floundering and searching until my parents need help in their last days. Now surely I found my purpose to spend my years doing what I could to improve their lives. Sadly they passed within ten months of my wife. Once again adrift without direction until my son asked for help on a project he had here in Alaska.
So sitting here nearing the end of life’s road I believe I have a better prospective on the question. Living in the big city it is harder for one to find the proof of Gods existence, whereas here I can see it daily in the splendor he has created. From majestic panoramas to the birth of a newborn baby in a smiling woman’s arms. So possibly one meaning for our lives could be to learn to recognize these wonders and reach out to those around us either physically or emotionally and bring a spark of happiness into their lives.
Could it then that our purpose in life
may be to realize what God has created for us
and to help others to see that beauty.