“If there was no purpose for us, we wouldn’t be here.”-David Mushimba.
Why do I exist? I’m sure I’m not the first one to ask myself that one question. I was raised a faithful Jehovah’s Witness who believed that we were the only true worshipers of God. In order for the world to be saved during Armageddon, I had to preach to as many people as possible so that they could join us into the new system of things, the paradise! That belief has changed now, as I believe that God is for everyone, not just for one religion.
One day, I was in the field ministry-door to door preaching in a posh neighborhood. As I walked up a hill approaching a 3-level house with a 6-car garage, I couldn’t help but admire the way those people were living. They looked like money wasn’t one of their problems. Garages were filled with expensive vehicles, motorcycles, and boats. I rang the bell once and a strong-angry voice followed, “What do you want?” “I’m a Jehovah’s Witness; I thought I could share a word or two from the bible with you,” I responded. A few seconds later, the door opened and a grown man in the doorway was holding a glass of brown liquid that smelt like whiskey, and was crying.
“My life sucks, I’m unhappy and I don’t know why I exist,” he started. “I have done everything I could to become successful but I am still empty.” His name was Dr. Jones. He had reached his professional success. An educated man, great income, big house, nice cars, good health- but he still longed for happiness and purpose in life. “I am an atheist, he revealed to me. But maybe your God could have some answers.”
Although I knew a lot about God and the bible, I actually didn’t take time to figure out why I existed. I thought getting an education, getting married, having kids, a good job, and owning material things would make me happy. However, after acquiring all these things, I still questioned myself if there was more to life. We have all seen successful people like Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain and others take their lives because financial success didn’t make them completely happy. We have also seen people living in extreme poverty but are happier than those living in luxury. What’s the secret to happiness? After a long research into happiness, I found out that it is specific to each individual. In my case, cultivating a deeper friendship with God, constantly talking to him, asking him for help, thanking him for anything good, and associating myself with people who respect him helped me find meaning in life. The guidance in the bible also helped me stay out of trouble. I enjoy setting goals and accomplishing them. It excites me to do community service or assist someone in need. I enjoy standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. I love a big house, nice cars, sports, etc. Each person is different, but whatever higher power you believe in, try to work on strengthening your relationship with him or her. Answering the following questions honestly also helped me find happiness and purpose. I believe they will do the same for you: (1) Who am I? Hint-You can find out who you are by answering the question-(2) What do I genuinely like to do? Get a pen and paper, write down all the things that excites you. Who you are is embedded in the things you enjoy doing, things that excite you. Do more of those things to stay in that happy zone. (3) What changes do I need to make to be happy? This question not only identifies areas that need your attention in order for you to be happy, but also looks at what you need to change in order for you to be the person you want to be. For example, playing video games may make you happy. However, if you play video games all day, every day, you may want to check if that’s what you want your identity to be. Therefore, that question can help you decide to shorten the time you play video games so that you can dedicate more time to what you really want to be identified as. (4) Why am I here? We all know that a builder builds a house for the purpose of someone living in it. A car manufacturer makes a car for someone to drive it. There’s a purpose for things we make. Therefore, answering that question will help you realize why you are here, why you were created. You may need to dig deeper, but you will find out because if there was no purpose for us, we wouldn’t be here.