Rick Warren, a fundamentalist pastor, wrote a book some time ago entitled The Purpose Driven Life. In the book he argues that one’s purpose must be… God’s purpose. Through 40 devotionals, one a day, he seeks to help worshipers achieve the purpose that God wants them to have. As you might have guessed, the process involves Bible reading, prayer, and Calvinistic theology.
It is a sign of immaturity to not be able to find your purpose apart from God. When we were young, we were not able to determine our own purpose, and so those in authority over us determined it for us. Sigmund Freud argued that religion is fundamentally a failure to grow up. It is childish to depend completely on a heavenly parent.
The world is, most fundamentally, purposeless. This does not mean that we cannot find meaning and purpose but that there is no inherent purpose in life that we must all strive toward. As such, we must determine our own purpose.
To find your purpose, just think about what you enjoy doing. There are so many things I cannot begin to list them all. However, I enjoy writing, reading, programming, learning about science, and playing video games. I find purpose in all these things, and I can make any one a career or regular hobby. I could become a writer, a book critic, a freelance or big company employed programmer, a science professor, or a game developer.
What do you enjoy? What can you make into a career? Or what can you find meaning in as a hobby?
I also find meaning in my family and my co-workers. I understand that a lot of people do not have many close relationships, and that family relationships can be strained at best. Mine certainly are. But nearly everyone has someone in their life with whom they can feel fulfilled.
Life is short. It’s too short to waste time pondering for years and years what your purpose in life should be. Decide now, and run toward it. Your purpose in life may change as you become more or less comfortable with various things. Seek for what makes you feel happiest and most fulfilled. That’s the best way to live life.