What's the point of life?

 Sometimes, I think to myself, "What's the point?" Actually, I don't really think that very often, because I'm usually thinking, "What does everybody else think the point is?"

Now, I know in my heart what I believe is the point of everything. That is as solid to the foundation of who I am as anything. And I really love what I believe that is, so I'm going to expound on it a little.

First of all, I believe in God. I believe that he lives and loves me, as he does all of his children. I believe in the mercy and saving grace of Jesus Christ. I believe in the wondrous enlightenment that the Scriptures bring to my heart and mind. These are also pretty fundamental to who I am. I go to church on Sundays, and most of my good friends are believers.

And some of the best people that I know are not believers.

However, there is something that is a little more prevalent in the believer community that makes me somewhat upset. It's almost as if "here" and "now" are unimportant. The general vibe is, "I believe in God, and I've been saved, and after I die I can go to heaven, so this life is almost a throw away; it doesn't matter that much." And it's almost like the more suffering they take on, like, somehow that makes them more sure that something even greater happens after death.

Dear friends, that is not what the point of this life is about. We are given this amazing and miraculous and wondrous and crazy life. It is not a throw away in any sense of the word! We have this gift of a life on earth, and it is given to us for our enjoyment and benefit! If you are living your life in a perpetual state of suffering just waiting for the end so that you can claim your reward, you are taking the best gift you have ever been given, crumpling it up, setting it on fire, and flushing it down the toilet.

This life is meant to be enjoyed! I don't know how much more clearly I can say this.
I hesitate to hold myself up as an example, but I think I do this really well so it's hard not to. My life is EXTREMELY hard, like on a daily basis. I don't have any movement or feeling below my shoulders. Not only can I not walk, but I can't even meaningfully use my arms or hands. Despite this, I am happy most of the time. I know my life is a blessing! I feel it so strongly. I have my hard struggles, frustrations and depressions, but underlying everything is joy for being alive!

I know God gave us our lives so that we could love them! We can find the beauty, serenity and wonder in our day-to-day life. I know it's possible, because despite my unique limitations, I've done it and continue to do it. So let me just share three things that have helped me.

#1 Practice Gratitude

I have found that when I practice gratitude, I can be thankful for everything within my life, even the not so great stuff. Negative experiences give me life lessons and help me empathize with the next person. When you are grateful, nothing is wasted. So, if you have to, write down a list. Start with A and end with Z. See how many things you can think of without thinking of the same thing twice. Being grateful is foundational to how you understand your life.
Alphabetical gratitude can get you started

#2 Feed the Good Wolf

In our souls, there might be two wolves warring. One wolf wants to build us up, and the other wants to tear us down. Let's feed the good wolf, and let's starve that destructive wolf. Anytime we hear something like, "You're not good enough. No one understands you. You're a burden. No one wants to be your friend," we need to shut that voice down immediately. Like, instantaneously redirect that voice. You ARE enough. There ARE people in your life willing to understand you. You are NOT a burden. There are people DYING to be your friend! What will happen if you believe the best things about yourself? Well, I think you will be more like me, because I believe the best things about myself (for the most part), and I love my life! I find myself enjoyable and great to be around. And it's because I shut down that bad voice. I feed the good wolf! I know it's hard to do sometimes, but it becomes easier with practice.
Never hesitate to feed the good wolf

#3 Extend Mercy

We all need to forgive a little more. Either we need to forgive ourselves, or we need to forgive others, or we need to do both. We are all in this life thing together right now, and we're all learning and not perfect. So if you find that other people annoy you because they don't know how to do anything right, forgive them. I can almost 100% guarantee you that they are not being annoying on purpose. They are trying their best, and sometimes that looks messy. And if you are having a hard time because no matter what you do, you are constantly messing up and falling short, forgive yourself. You don't need to wait until you have achieved perfection to forgive. Just give yourself some space and extend that mercy. It will be easier to try your best if you treat your shortcomings as learning experiences, and you forgive yourself along the way. You begin to see yourself as worthwhile and wonderful for trying and trying again and trying again!
Fill your heart with sweet forgiving

What's this life for? It's meant to be enjoyed! We are here to be happy! If I can be successful at this, anyone can! I believe in you! Just be grateful, silence that inner critic, and forgive! Yes! We can do this! 2024 for the win!