In the short time that I have “come out” as an atheist, I have heard this same thing over and over again: “If you aren’t living for God, then you have no purpose in life.” They usually go on to say how sad they are for me. Thanks. But guess what? I have purpose. I have plenty of it.
First of all. I have a son. My renewed purpose is to care for him, guide him, teach him, and protect him. I have a responsibility to raise him to be a loving, respectful person. That is a huge responsibility. A HUGE PURPOSE. It’s not like now that I am no longer Christian, I’m throwing my son to the wolves. Christians do not have a lock on morality. We all have a responsibility to raise our children in a way that will make this world a better place.
Second. I have my husband. My purpose is to love him and do my best to make him happy. His purpose is to do the same for me, at least it had better be… I don’t have a list of things I must do for him daily. I’m not trying my best to be submissive. Not going to happen. But I am going to love and respect him – because I love and respect him. Period. Not because I need to be told to do that. We are partners. Not leader and follower. Not head and foot. Or whatever puts the man on the pedestal and the women at his feet. I have plenty of purpose to help maintain and nourish my relationship with my husband.
Third. The rest of my family (friends too!). They need to be loved and given attention to and all of that jazz. Plenty of purpose there. Life would be a terrible place without family and friends. I fail them all of the time, but they know how much I love them.
Fourth. The world-ish… I have so many things that I can contribute to this world to try to make it a better place. I don’t have to invent a way for cars to run without fuel or single-handedly save the environment. I just need to live every day trying to help others when I see the need. I can volunteer my time, my talents, even my money when possible to brighten someone else’s day. It’s the little things that are going to make a difference. This is a huge purpose that gets ignored quite often. I need to do better.
I’m sure there are plenty of other things I could add to this list, but the Fifth and final (for now) is me. I have to take care of me. If I don’t take care of me, then how can I take care of my son? I fail in this area all of the time even though I know how important it is. I have to learn and never stop learning. I have to push myself and not rely on comfort. I have to try to be the best that I can be.
My purpose is to live. It’s to love. What can be greater than that?