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OTHER ITA SITES:
The Meaning Of Life
I grew up in the south in the 1960's. Married when I was 18 and joined the Army when I was 23. I traveled to Germany then back to the states where I lived in Connecticut for a while and then Tennessee for 10 years. I am now living in Maine.
Of all the traveling I have done in my life I have heard people asking one question constantly. It doesn't matter if you are religious or not. We all want to know "What is the meaning of life?" I myself have asked that question a thousand times.
Socrates and Plato and a thousand other deep thinkers down through history have tried to define or explain the meaning of life. Each with his own perception and understanding and most times with a very complicated explanation.
It was not until I took up hiking in the mountains of Tennessee that I had plenty of time to ponder the complexities of this age old question. Being a Christian I was raised to believe certain things and to look at life in certain ways. But as I got older and began studying and searching for myself I began to realize that what I was taught as a child was not as complicated as some would have had me believe.
I always wondered why God would have put us here simply to suffer through this life. After all he does love us and of that I have no doubt. So why then? I studied and pondered and reflected in deep thought just like many have before me, and like them, to no avail.
Then one day while hiking the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee I came to a clearing overlooking a valley. It was a clear day with the sun shining bright. As I looked out across the valley I saw an eagle soaring on the wind. And as usual the thought crossed my mind that it would be really nice to be able to soar like that. Then I thought, do eagles look at us and wish they were like us?
That is when something inside me clicked. It was more like an explosion or an awakening of sorts. The meaning of life was so simple that I had looked right past it thinking that it would be some big discovery of some sort. Some words of wisdom that would make me look like a genius. Instead three words kept going through my brain. Thundering as if God himself was speaking them directly into my thoughts.
We spend our entire lives from the moment we take our first breath til our last one is used up trying to be something we aren't. Whether we are trying to get a job by seeming more experienced or trying to win someones heart by becoming the person they are looking for. We act differently in different situations. Why?
It is in our nature I suppose or at least the nature of the flesh. But God's nature is to be the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. And since we are to strive to be more "God-like", which I used to think meant to try to be perfect, then the meaning of life is nothing more than to "JUST BE YOU!"
Yep, it is just that simple. Be you no matter what happens or where you are or who you are with or what you are trying to achieve. If you can do this you will be something that the majority of people will never be. Good, bad or indifferent you will Just Be You.
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Travel Part B