There Must Be a Purpose
ALMOST everyone has a desire to accomplish something, unless he has become so frustrated that he has adopted the philosophy, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.’ But even those who have given themselves up to follow this purposeless pattern have a feeling of unfulfillment and are unhappy. Even though its attainment may not be guaranteed, it is much more satisfying to work toward some goal than to live a completely aimless life.
Moreover, most people not only want a worthwhile purpose in life, but along with that want opportunity to enjoy life in a constructive way. They are interested in the earth and their fellowman and realize that the really profitable purposes are those that contribute to the welfare and happiness of others. One who is awake to the beauty of his surroundings and to the good that one finds in other people is stirred more than ever to work toward a purpose. The efforts made by thousands of persons in medical research and in many scientific fields illustrate that—despite selfishness and imperfections—a great many people are basically interested in the welfare of others.
If humans can have this view, what about the Creator? If you could look on the earth from his vantage point, would you think it logical or satisfying merely to see successive generations come onto the scene, live a few turbulent and frustrating years, and then die off? Would you consider it purposeful for this same scene to be repeated over and over, indefinitely? When God declared, as recorded at Isaiah 45:18: ‘I, the Former of the earth, did not create it simply for nothing, but formed it to be inhabited,’ did he mean for it to be inhabited by dying generations? Is he going to let the situation continue as described by the Bible writer who observed the vanity of such a condition and said: “A generation goes and a generation comes, and the earth stands forever”? (Eccl. 1:4, Byington) Does that seem to be the kind of purpose you would expect of an all-wise Creator? Surely he must have a greater overall purpose in what is taking place, with a view toward better things to come.
Purpose Evident in Human Body
Take a closer view of the living things on the earth, particularly humankind, earth’s highest form of life. You can see that no feature of man’s body is without purpose. Look at your hand. Has anyone ever made a substitute as suitable, as dexterous, as beautiful? Think of the sense of touch, the ability to move the fingers to do what you desire. No human production on this earth, from a tiny transistor to a mighty ocean liner, could have been constructed without the manipulation of those God-given fingers.
Consider your eyes—two beautifully formed tiny spherelike motion-picture “cameras” that are perfectly coordinated, and that can take color pictures in three dimensions, with no time needed for development. But the eye is far superior to a camera. For example, it needs no shutter to “freeze” the motion of an object. The eye sees motion without a blur and sorts moving objects from stationary ones. These two living cameras, along with the sight-interpreting section of the brain, are formed within the human embryo out of a few minerals, some protein, fat, sugar and water.
A scientific report in the New York Times said of the marvelous brain:
‘The constitution of the brain as a physical entity is so complex that it makes any of the giant electronic computers mere child’s toys by comparison. Even a single nerve cell of the brain is composed of infinitely more complex parts than the greatest machine ever made by man. Yet the cerebral cortex of the brain, the seat of the higher mental functions, which constitutes only a small part of the total organ, is composed of ten billion individual nerve cells. Each is a complex protoplasmic unit functioning as a living dynamo.’
And of the trillion or so cells in the human body, studies have revealed that any one of these cells can perform one to two thousand different chemical reactions simultaneously!
Earth Designed as Man’s Ideal Home
When you turn your gaze toward the earth itself, it is evident that it is a marvelous place for mankind in which to live—just the right place. When man and woman were placed on the earth, everything for their sustenance and happy life was here for them to enjoy. Even today the ecology—where man has not unduly interfered with it—provides what mankind needs. This was highlighted in a lecture to a college group in Brooklyn, New York. The speaker said:
‘How much like a literal home this earth is designed and equipped! For example, a literal home has a light in the ceiling; the earth does also—the sun. A literal home has a night light in the hall; the earth does also—the moon. God said that the moon would be a luminary to dominate the night. (Gen. 1:14-18) Its composition is slightly luminescent. It provides a soft glow that does not interfere with sleep.
‘A literal home has a plumbing system to convey water to the different rooms; the earth also is equipped with a plumbing system that conveys water by underground pipes or channels everywhere on the earth. Even in the mountains we find sparkling springs. In places in the Sahara desert it is necessary to dig down only a few feet to obtain water.
‘In the cellar of a family home there is oil or coal for heating; in the “cellar” deposits of the earth, oil and coal are waiting for man to use also. In the basement of a home one usually sees pieces of copper, iron and other metals to use in repairing and making things. Well, the earth has these also in its “cellar deposits”: iron, copper, silver, gold, platinum and others. And there are diamonds, rubies and numberless other gems for the women of this earthly “family” to deck themselves in beauteous array.
‘In a home a variety of food is to be found in the pantry. The earth also has a bounteous “pantry” with a host of delicious nutrients: fruits, berries, melons, vegetables, grains and many others for mankind’s sustenance.’
Can anyone logically say that all these things are put there aimlessly, or that they happened by chance? When a home is thus equipped, do we not know that there is a designer?
The beauty of all of this is that man was made for the earth and the earth purposely made for man. God speaks of the earth as his gift to mankind. (Ps. 115:16) Man, as the one having dominion over the earth, should certainly be as well fitted for happy life on it as are the animals. (Gen. 1:26-28) If humans were relieved of their infirmities of mind and body, they should be as much at home in their proper surroundings as are, for instance, the mountain goats in their habitat. These animals leap unerringly from rock to rock on the virtually sheer face of a cliff. (Compare Job, chapter 39.) If man were in full possession and control of his faculties, with all his senses alive, alert, would he not be even more accident-free than are these creatures? Think of the incredibly accurate, split-second acrobatic feats that can be performed by those who train for it, even now, despite imperfection of mind and body.
Man’s Capacity tor Spirituality
Considering all these things, does it not seem fitting that humans should enjoy more than seventy or eighty years of existence? This becomes an even bigger question when we look at the human makeup as regards personality, emotions and hopes. The Bible says that man was made ‘in the image and likeness of God.’ (Gen. 1:26) Humans have a sense of morality and a capacity for spirituality, qualities that animals do not have. And if this human spiritual capacity is not satisfactorily filled, people cannot be happy. Jesus Christ said: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.” (Matt. 5:3) One who realizes his spiritual need will seek its fulfillment. God is willing to satisfy the sincere seeker. Jesus said: “Ask, and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him?”—Matt. 7:7, 11, Revised Standard Version.
If you observe with sadness the frustration that exists, and if you look for the answer to the question, Is there a purpose in life? you are conscious of a spiritual need. We hope that the following article will be encouraging to you.
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The eye is a wonderful, automatic, self-focusing color “camera” that can observe motion without blurring
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More complex than a giant factory, one cell of the human body can silently perform one to two thousand chemical reactions simultaneously
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A good householder arranges so that all things necessary for his family are stored or provided in his house
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Jehovah, the great Householder, arranges that all things necessary for his family are stored or provided in his house