Let me be completely, utterly honest with you. (Well, since this is the section where you should be nothing but honest…)
I didn’t like church. Nor its people. Nor anything to do with religion. At all.
… So that was kind of an overgeneralized statement, eh? (Or three?)
But that’s exactly how I felt when I was young.
I grew up in a family where my mom became Christian after immigrating to Canada. Ever since then, she basically dragged me to church from when I was at the tender age of nine—and boy, I did not like that at all.
In my young mind, there were two thoughts that were haunting me:
- Why do parents drag you to church without properly explaining why church is so good?
- I don’t buy it when you tell me that going to church = making friends and free food and free this and benefit that. I can’t believe people go because of these reasons!
(Trust me, I have people telling me things like going to church will expand your social/career connections and plus, you can find a good girl/guy to date. Which can be true. But still!)
Hence, these were the thoughts that eventually led me to hate on church, hate on its people, hate on religion, and a weekly-hate on Mom every time she dragged me to go again. (Sorry, Mom.)
I’m sure even those of you who come from a Christian family background can relate. Like, why do we always have to pray before our meals? Why can’t we just sleep in on Sundays like everyone else?… And stuff.
Once we start to have our own ideas of how we want to live our lives (usually around the tweenage or teenage years), we no longer want to do the things our parents tell us to do – and that often includes, “going to church”. We need to be given a reason—a good reason at that.
And that’s exactly what God gave me. Well, way later on.
Despite how much I disliked church (since hate is a strong word I will only use it four times), inside my heart, I always believed there was a God. A universal power, a higher being Who looked after me, and everybody else. Since I was really young, five-years-old or so, I’d always look at the sun rising, and the stars twinkling, and wonder if God was looking back.
(Also, when I was young, somehow I did not equate church to “a place where you can find God”. Hence I hated- I mean, disliked church. But anyway.)
It was all sunshine and rainbows, until I grew up, became a teenager and high school and puberty happened. That was probably the darkest time of my life.
My self-esteem took a dive, I had a lot of self-doubt, self-hate, and an identity crisis. Since my friends were going through the same things (or even worse), and since I felt like my parents never understood me (you know this happens to all of us during our teenage years), I felt like no one was by my side. I felt like I was in this struggle and fight alone.
Then came this one moment when I felt like the world was gonna end and that all was hopeless. It was at the end of my grade 12 year when I “had to choose a future path.” I basically felt like I had no future. I mean, how can you choose a future when you don’t even know who you are?
And thank God, I made the choice of throwing everything aside and doing a prayer, instead of, you know, the darker things.
Since I had the littlest knowledge in religion (I went to church when I was young but always fell asleep during sermons), I didn’t even know how to pray. I just did a ‘monkey see, monkey do’ from what I’ve seen in movies: I clasped my hands, closed my eyes, and called out all the names for God that I had ever heard of to date.
I said in my prayer (to God, Jesus, Buddha, etc…):
“If You are real and listening, please show me the way to life.”
Time passed, half a year later, God granted my prayer. (Which I belatedly realized. We always belatedly realize these things.)
I learned this Bible Study that answered not only all the questions I had about church, and its people, and religion… but it also answered the key question.
It answered my prayer.
My prayer regarding the one thought that haunted my mind at the darkest times… “Show me the way to life” a.k.a.
“Why am I even alive? For what am I living?
What’s the purpose of me being in this world?”
And I am confident: this is the question that will haunt every person at a certain time in life. What’s our purpose in life?
Surely, God has a purpose for us.
It’s an amazing purpose. (But too bad I can’t tell you just yet!)
Our lives are short, and when we don’t know the purpose, it feels like we are walking in the dark trying to “feel out” our ways, while trying our best not to fall off a cliff or something. That’s how I felt: Uncertain, not knowing where’s the end, if there even is one…
People say “YOLO*”, but that’s just because they are empty. They know life is short, and they want to try to avoid the fact that it will end some day without them fulfilling anything IF they start putting in the effort during their youth. I get that. Life is like a bank that doesn’t guarantee your money back, so why put savings in so early?
(*Note: Literally: an abbreviation for “You Only Live Once”. Figuratively: a lifestyle that people choose to adopt where you enjoy all you want when you are young, and basically attempt to avoid the more burdensome parts of life until you are old.)
Everyone lives trying to find their purpose in life.
But who can tell you which one is right?
Only God, the One who designed our lives.
So ask Him, and I assure you that He’ll make it right.
(Wow, that rhymed. Ahem. Anyway.)
Knowing God’s purpose for creating this world, human beings and for creating me made me feel like I am alive. When you feel like your life has a purpose, that motivates you in the greatest way, and you look forward to waking up every day to be a step closer to your goal, right? But what if you can wake up every morning feeling that your life has a purpose that lasts, that will never fail, and that will only stand stronger the more time passes? ‘Cuz God becomes your guarantor.
God’s purpose was like the sun shining upon the dark place called “life” where I was trying to “feel out” things. It felt like I was a blind gaining sight for the first time. I was able to see the path and the destination for the first time.
(I can’t say that this path is without obstacles and that it’s all rainbows and sunshine… but that’s another story of its own.)
You know how there’s a verse that says, “the truth will set you free”? (John 8:32)
I felt exactly what that meant after learning the purpose to life. I was free. Because for the first time, I felt certain about the path I was walking on. I wasn’t afraid of my future.
… Alright. Enough metaphors. Or similes. Or feelings.
I’m just not a logical person to explain these things in practical language.
In short, if you are like me and you are miserable because you feel like your life has no purpose, try learning this Bible Study about God and His purpose for you. It will surely move your heart because you get to realize God’s deep love behind that purpose.
And if it doesn’t… no money back.
Just kidding! Or not kidding.
’Cuz this Bible Study is totally free!