Why do we live?
Why do we live? It is a tough question. So let us start with other living things around us. Why do they live? What is the purpose of all these creatures teeming the earth?
Scientists have determined that all earthly living things, except the human race, have a definite role to play in order to keep the earth well maintained.
Humans were the last to appear on earth according to to modern science and also according to Genesis. The earth with all its plants, animals and non-living things including water, mountains and the plains, is the most beautiful planet known to humankind so far. And it provides the most hospitable environment and living conditions for human beings to thrive. It is in our hands to either maintain planet earth as beautiful as the garden of Eden was or degrade it to the level of the present day Island of Nauru.
Well, that is just one part of the story. Let us assume that we are taking good care of the earth and are prospering in it, like animals that have found green pastures and a pleasant shade to lie down beside a brook. Would that make our life complete?
Why do we live? Are we only meant to live for many years just to ‘fall a log at last, dry bald and sere’ as Ben Jonson put it?
If we live for mere food, entertainment and comfort, then we are like the beasts that perish. We are more than beasts. We are made in the image of God; and this wonderful abode (earth) is given to us to do what the Creator wants us to do. What does God want us to do, anyway? ‘…I know the plans I have for you‘, declares God, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.
Each of us is required to undertake certain tasks according to our capacity, optimising the natural talents given to us. We should not squander our talents on wasteful activities because a time will come for everyone when the music will stop, and then we will have to give account for our deeds. How do we know what is God’s plan for our lives? God, being holy, will not come and tell you what you should do if you have not kept your body and mind holy and pleasing to Him. You are the temple of God, so unless you keep it holy and agreeable to Him He is not likely to come and have fellowship with you; and tell you what you should or should not do with your precious life.
Now let us discuss life after death, right below.
Life after death
Does your life come to an end when you die? What happens to your soul? It is hard to tell what lies in store for each of us after we breathe our last, and move on from this earthly life.
Imagine you are the nymph (larval stage) of a beautiful damselfly. You have no wings, and you live in a placid pool; and you breathe water. You know a lot about the underwater world where you live; but you often wonder what is going on above the water. You did try a couple of times to push yourself out of the water, just to get a glimpse of what was up there; but you were instantly suffocated by air, so you drew back into the water to breathe. All that you can see from beneath the surface is glimmering lights and blurry flying objects during the day, and hazy stars and the moon at night. These fuzzy sights give you no idea of what goes on above the water.
That precisely is the situation while we are still on earth. Just as the damselfly nymph cannot figure out what is going on above the water, we too cannot figure out what is going on beyond this life on earth. But one day, like the damselfly nymph, we, too, will be transformed and wing our way upward; and then ‘know’ what lies in store for us beyond this earthly life. This is a simple illustration to give you some idea of life beyond death. It will be so different from where we live now that it is beyond our comprehension. Neither could we come back to the earth and share our experience with our dear ones. The above idea (damselfly) came to me from a lovely story written by Doris Stickney (Waterbugs and Dragonflies – Explaining death to young children) and published by The Pilgrim Press. It is a great book with beautiful pictures.
That apart, there are some basic facts about our life beyond death. Those who do good things in this life, according to God’s plan for each individual, will have a reward, which is heaven. Click here to get a glimpse of what is promised for those who are eligible to enter heaven. You may also click here for details of marriage in heaven.
As for those who follow evil ways in this world, the Bible says that they will be sent to hell, which was originally prepared for the chief devil and his evil angels. It is also said that the wages of sin is death (hell). You could visit this site for an extensive discussion on life after death, and how we may escape punishment in hell and attain eternal happiness in God’s presence.
Have a great day. And a rewarding life!
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