Last year, seventh-grade parents were given the assignment to write their children a letter explaining the meaning of life. Seriously? Why not just write the cure for cancer? Or, solve the problem of world peace? Or do ninth-grade algebra? The meaning of life?!
Of course, the best teachers challenge us. As it turns out, the question is worth answering. I am sharing my letter because at times I need to be reminded of its message. Maybe you do too.
I have been asked to write you a letter explaining the meaning of life. But seeing that only moments ago I spilled hot coffee down the front of my shirt, I am not sure I feel qualified to answer such a poignant question.
When we are children, we see the world in solid colors. There are no shades or variations of pigments. We learn basic colors early and life seems pretty simple. As we grow older, things get more complicated. There is no longer just the color blue but countless shades of it.
We have a lot more choices, but the right ones aren’t always clear. A spectrum of possibilities exists as to what one’s life may mean. That’s the beauty of life and the mystery for you to uncover. I can’t tell you what the answer will be for you, because I am still learning what it is for me.
In some ways, the answer seems obvious, and I am tempted to spell it out. But I resist the urge to give you a one-word solution, to pick one color from the few that existed when we were younger, to oversimplify, give away the secret, the magic formula, the profundity of life’s meaning, because of that word itself, love. Love would be the easy answer. God’s love, family love, married love, love of others, merciful love, eternal love, and unconditional love will be the answer many times over if you live life well.
I could do this, and I wouldn’t be wrong. After all, love is as true as the color red. But it would be too simplistic, and life is many things, yet I have never known it to be simple. Read more