As I Was Saying is a forum for a variety of perspectives to foster faith-related conversations among our readers with the goal of mutual learning, even in disagreement. Apart from articles written by editorial staff, these perspectives do not necessarily reflect the views of The Banner.
At one time or another, most of us have wondered about why we’re on this planet. Our thoughts may have taken the form of questions like these: Who am I? Why do I exist here and now? What is the meaning of life? What makes my life worth living? Is there a purpose for my existence? How do I fit into God’s eternal plan?
No doubt, questions like these underlie the proliferation in recent years of seminars, speeches, and books on the purpose of life. The answer to all those questions is implied in this simple statement widely believed to have been made by famed writer and philosopher Mark Twain: “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” One might question his theological credentials, but that statement is theologically profound!
Had Twain read the book of Ephesians, he might have found an even more profound statement which would have helped his readers answer those introspective “who, why and what” questions. The life-changing answer to all of them is hiding in plain sight in Eph. 2:10 (NLT) where Paul says, “We are God’s masterpiece. He has recreated us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
That’s one of those verses that needs a moment for its simplicity to sink in. Think about it. A masterpiece is defined as the best work of an artist. So we are the best work of all that God created. But we have all sinned and fallen short of his glory. Still masterpieces? We are because God recreated us through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus. For what purpose? To do the good things he planned for us to do long ago!
So what are those good things? For God’s created world to function properly, he needs us to be good citizens, loving parents, faithful marriage partners, fair employers, productive employees, and more. His world needs preachers and plumbers, janitors and judges, teachers and technicians, farmers and factory workers, salespeople and scientists, owners and operators—the list could go on. Think about your occupation and fill in the blank.
Isn’t it mind-boggling that those activities and occupations are the good things God planned for us long ago? But in his eternal plan there’s even more. He equipped each of us with the abilities we need to do those good things, and he expects us to do our best in using them.
So, why are we on this planet? To help God’s world function to his glory. That is our purpose in this world with the promise of living forever in the world to come … that’s a masterpiece life of purpose with promise!