Spiritual Formation

What Is Point of Life Anyhow?


What is your chief goal in life?

Do you know?

Every human being wrestles with this key question, I think. Sometimes very intentionally. Sometimes subconsciously.

Sometimes the same basic quest for meaning surfaces in different forms. Sometimes it has us asking more obvious and pressing questions like this:

Is college necessary?

What should I major in?

Should I pursue this hobby?

Should I take that entry-level job or spend a year overseas?

What is success?

Should I ask for a raise?

Whom should I date?

Will I ever get married?

Is it time to buy a house?

How many kids should we have?

Do I even have the strength to get up in the morning?

Should I try the aggressive traditional treatment or a more natural route?

Should I work toreconcile that relationship or walk away?

When should I retire?

Is this it? Is this my life?

We struggle—sometimes in agony—to come to conclusions on such things, forgetting all the time that a more fundamental question lies beneath.

What is the point of all anyhow?



A few years ago I bought Gretchen Ruben’s book The Happiness Project. I don’t remember how I first heard about it, but I can be a sad sucker for a good self-help book. In those almost 300 pages, Ruben describes a year in her life when she set out to be intentional about obtaining more happiness. Every month she set some concrete goals related to her marriage, her health, her work, her friendships, and so forth. I have been inspired by several of her ideas, and—yes—my title for our family’s New Year venture (“The Holiness Project”) is a blatant rip off.

Here’s why.

Ruben starts her book by recounting the April morning when she asked herself the question, “What do I want from life, anyway?” And her immediate answer was, “I want to be happy.”

Obviously, she’s not alone. Many of us would agree. I’ve talked to many people who stake the same claim. I’ve read many other books and articles that build on the same foundational idea. “The main goal of life is happiness.” It’s almost a premise that we forget to query. Of course, we all want to be happy. It’s what we want for our children as well. “I just want them to be happy.”

But should that really be our chief aim?

The first thing I hope our little Holiness Project does is call that idea into question. For us, and for you.

So I challenge you, right now, to think about it. What is your chief goal in life? The New Year is the perhaps the best time to consider.

Maybe an answer rolls right off of your tongue. Maybe it’s something that was prepackaged for you long ago and handed to you—ready made. Maybe now is a good time to reevaluate or reaffirm your commitment to that ideal.

Maybe you’ve already spent considerable time grappling with your life goal. Maybe you’ve written a personal mission statement and it’s hanging on your medicine cabinet and it guides your every move.

Or maybe not. Maybe you have no idea.

Why not make 2017 the year that you examine the question intentionally: what is my chief aim?


In future posts, we’ll dig further into this subject. Make sure to subscribe up above, so you don’t miss any part of the conversation.

Too, if you are so inclined, visit the COMMENTS section below, and let us know how you might articulate your chief aim in life.

Here’s to growing together!



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