Many people often struggle with this question. Why are we here? What are we supposed to accomplish on earth? I recently came across an article by Richard Stearns on this topic that I believed was incredible. I hope that you might have the same reaction.
“One of the subplots in the 2003 movie Finding Nemo is about of a group of fish who long to live in the ocean but are trapped in a dentist’s aquarium. They can see the harbor from their prison in the dentist’s office, but no matter how many escape plans they devise, they can never quite get there. Finally they succeed. As the last of the group plops into the sea, the newly freed fish silently take stock of their situation: they’re floating in individual plastic bags in the midst of a vast harbor, with no tools or opposable thumbs with which to get out of the bags. After a moment, one of them humorously asks the obvious question, “Now what?”
“Now what?” indeed.
“Now what?” is a question many Christians find themselves asking after they make an initial commitment to Jesus. They truly love God and have a sincere belief in Jesus, but they sense something missing. They wonder what they are supposed to do next. Is there more to this life of faith than simply going to church, praying, reading the Bible, and waiting to die? The answer to this question is a resounding yes!
Over the last century, American Christianity has become hyper-focused on believing the right things. We have produced thousands of theology books, used countless bytes on the Internet defending our religious particulars, and even left old churches to start new ones based on differences in doctrine. But what if belief is only half the story? Yes, it is important to trust God and believe in Jesus, but that is only the first step. What comes next is just as important but also much harder: actually doing what Jesus commands. Over and over again, Jesus insists that His followers and friends are the ones who both “hear” and “do” the things he teaches (Luke 6:49; John 15:14). Which brings us back to that very important question from Finding Nemo: “Now what?”
Chances are you are reading this study because you are interested in Jesus. You believe in Him and trust Him as Lord and Savior, but you want to know more about how to live out your faith. You know that Jesus has things to say about the way we prioritize our time and what we do with our money. You know that God expects His worshipers to have a particular relationship with the poor and people in need. You know that God’s agenda is for the renewal of all things, but you wonder how your life fits into that big plan. If this is the case, then you have come to the right place.
These kinds of questions are questions about story. They ask what kind of story God has been and is still telling in this world. They ask who the main characters of that story are and, more personally, how each of our individual stories fits into God’s big one. They ask what is the ultimate purpose and meaning of life. And that is why it is such good news that we wonder about these things, because such wonderings come from a place of hope. Hope that things can be different. Hope that God has not abandoned this world but is indeed rescuing it. And hope that the significance, satisfaction, and peace we long for are not actually found in the pursuit of money or power but in something far more exciting. However, pursuing the answers takes courage and intentionality. Jesus is inviting you to join Him on this journey of discipleship. Do you want to accept that invitation?”
Stay tuned for Part 2!