A rather straightforward and assertive young man asked me why he should have faith? This is a hard question to answer as the lead in question of a conversation with a stranger you have just met. I asked the young man about his life and his “issues." He exclaimed he had no issues, slept well at night, came from a good family, was pursuing a promising career, had some trust money that would come his way at a future opportune time, and further described his life as perfect. His life was fixed.
I asked him to tell me of his great purpose in life. His eyebrows became heavy over his eyes and for the first time he did not have an answer. He asked what a “great purpose” might be. I offered a few examples, told him a little of the purposes of my life, mentioned Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He exclaimed he had never really thought about the second question.
The conversation was long and enlightening for the both of us. We had good coffee and honest conversation. However, from the beginning I was as concerned with his first answer as I was with his second lack of an answer. He, like so many of us, expects to live his life with all issues taken care of with no worries, and with no great purpose for life other than to live and enjoy. This is the formula for a meaningless and empty life. Our culture raises its hands in corporate wonder, “What is the purpose of life?” Faith is deliverance from our shortcomings and a purpose that is greater and beyond our “self.”