What's the point?

Instead of struggling to find meaning in a limited, material view of life, we can look for the deeper, enduring good that comes from God. This spiritual view lifts our thinking and brings fresh meaning – and healing – to our lives.

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My life was good, but I had a secret. Though things were going well for me in high school and with my family, I couldn’t shake a sad question that had been gnawing at me for a while: What’s the point of all this?

What that meant to me was: What’s the point of life when we’re all just going to die eventually? Kind of a downer, I realize, but that’s the way I felt. I’d get cynical at social events and about petty things like small talk, shopping, and travel plans. It felt like everyone else was ignoring the seeming fact that there was no long-term point to any of this – or at least, that was what it looked like to me.

I didn’t tell anyone about my struggle, and I managed to escape the darkness by filling my days with homework, play rehearsals, TV, and friends. I was studying Christian Science kind of casually, and it didn’t occur to me that what I was learning could be relevant to this feeling of pointlessness. So, that gray feeling remained just below the surface for around two years. I even thought about suicide, but I loved my family too much to put them through that.

Sunday afternoons were the worst. No school, no rehearsals – nothing to fill up the time and push away the heaviness. But one Sunday afternoon when I was alone in my room, a thought sort of slipped in and surprised me: “You could try praying.”

“Oh, come on,” I argued with myself. “Praying isn’t going to change anything about the basics of human life.”

But I was feeling so down that I did try to pray. For me, praying meant listening – waiting to feel a sense of goodness settle over me. I wanted to feel that God is good, and total Love, and everywhere. But as I tried to feel that, a negative thought barged in: “Well, that might be true on a spiritual level, but what’s the point of this human life?”

Then a huge thought came in response: “You’re right. There is no point – not in matter. You’re looking in the wrong place.”

I suddenly realized that I was trying to find meaning and purpose in mortal existence – a place that simply didn’t have them, and that would never have them. Rather than being fooled by a dark, limited version of life, I needed to turn and look in the right direction and recognize that, as God’s offspring, we’re always living in God’s good reality – spiritual reality. This new thought brought such lightness and relief.

Life totally changed for me with the realization that there is a spiritual answer to the question “What’s the point?” I started looking for the deeper good in everyday happenings. Mary Baker Eddy wrote in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things” (p. 129). In other words, instead of living on the surface, I started to look at conversations, friendships, events – life! – from a spiritual point of view.

Now I see life as an opportunity to explore what God, Love, is, to observe how Love is expressing itself in infinite ways, and to experience healing.

Adapted from an article published in the Christian Science Sentinel’s online TeenConnect section, Dec. 7, 2021.

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