Our Purpose Part 1- The Spirit and the Body

“Why am I here?” is the question that has probably been asked more than any other throughout the course of history.  And for good reason.  Just the asking of the question alone implies that we humans have a deep-rooted knowledge that there is more at stake for us then mere existence.  Something that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.  I don’t believe a fish questions the purpose of its existence as it drifts in the current.  It just does “fish” things, carrying out its God-given purpose of being a fish.  You don’t see a tree changing its mind, giving shade and providing oxygen one minute, then picking up its roots and heading off to try something new the next.  It is clear that God has given mankind a soul, that spiritual nature that makes each of us uniquely “us”.  We sometimes call it our “spirit”, or our “heart”, but whatever the name, it is the driving force by which we conduct our lives.  The meter by which we judge right from wrong, good from bad.  The central core that governs our physical actions.

“But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.”  Job 32:8.

If it is the soul that dictates the actions, then it is the body that carries out the commands.  The fact that we are both spiritual and physical beings hints at our purpose here on planet Earth.  If God wanted us just to float through life thinking about Him, pondering His attributes and wondering at His glory, then he would have stopped at unembodied spirits when making mankind.  But instead He made us to have physical form, with bodies capable of carrying out actions in real time.  Capable of communicating with one another in words and gestures.  Capable of moving or standing still, going right or going left.  Capable of holding out a hand or taking that hand back.  Our bodies are the vehicles by which we carry out our spiritual longings and desires.  And it makes perfect sense.  The greatest lessons learned are by doing.  Experience is an amazing teacher.  God has much to instruct about: love, grace, mercy, compassion, sacrifice.  But these things would have no real meaning to us if we weren’t given opportunities to experience them in our lives, both in the giving and in the receiving.  These spiritual truths that we spend so much time contemplating would remain vague ideas instead of becoming deep-rooted beliefs.  And while, yes, it is true that the body will some day decay and pass away, while we are here it plays a crucial role.  The body is not just a house for our soul, an inanimate shell, but an active participant in the carrying out of our spiritual will, those actions that we call “life”.  Those actions “to the glory of God”.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  I Corinthians 10:31

(to be continued)


What do you think?