Whether we like it or not, conscious of it or not, we are on a journey of life. Each one of us is going somewhere. Life is much more than being born to live and die. As each day comes and goes, the reflective person realizes that there is a purpose to life. And like most things in life, if we do not know where we are going, we will never know which road to take. A child who does not know what he wants to be, will not know what to do, for a goal determines the way or means. For some, their goal is to follow a career path in order to realize their potential and make a living. It is a noble goal. For others, their goal is to get married, have children and grandchildren. Again, this is noble for it accomplishes God's will. Yet, for others, it is to get the greatest pleasures out of life, however good or bizarre they might be. Still for some others, the goal is life without a clear goal, and so, they end up in drugs, binge drinking, smoking and sex, without any sense of responsibility. Being so goalless, they leave such a mess behind them, which parents, grandparents, and society spend so much time, energy and resources cleaning up.
There is a variety of goals as there is a variety of human beings. Our goals, conscious or not, are evident in the choices we make. But at each point in our lives, we ask a significant question, whether we verbalize it consciously or feel it within ourselves: what next? Is this all? That is, is life simply to get married and have children, have a great career, make a good living, have pleasurable experiences? After all we have made, done, achieved, experienced, we still ask: what next? Even the drug user, binge drinker, celebrity, etc. are surprised by this question, which often they tend to suppress with more drugs, more noise, more search for fame and in some cases, with more crimes!
This question: “what next?” haunts every human being and as much as we may try to suppress it with so many distractions, it somehow sneaks back into consciousness, and demands a response. Whatever response we give will surely have to be so broad and meaningful to embrace and subsume all the mini-goals we have been pursuing since our birth. If not, we remain unsettled, threatened by a meaningless existence, which often leads to anger and disdain; this feeling in turn pushes on further to seek avenues to avoid or suppress this psychic pain.
However, we may feel about God in this modern world, we cannot live without a God-vision of life. Jesus Christ makes the claim that He is going to the Father to prepare a place for us, so that where He is, there, also we can be (Jn. 14:1-3). He claims He is the way, the truth and the life (Jn. 14:6). We may choose to live any other way, but as long as we face that question: “what next?” we cannot remain indifferent to Jesus Christ without serious consequences.
There is a sect called the Church of Satan – a “religious” group that claims no regard for God, but for everything that is “natural” to the human being. According to the Satanists: “We Satanists are thus our own 'gods,' and as beneficent “deities”, we can offer love to those who deserve it and deliver our wrath (within reasonable limits) upon those who seek to cause us—or that which we cherish—harm”. This group is actually seeking to make sense of human life and the many ambiguities that are found in it, and frustrated, they settle with anything that is against God and turn themselves into their own gods. Though some people in our country may not literally belong to the Satanic sect, they live out the principles of Satanists: they cheat, steal, manipulate, harm, and deceive in order to achieve their desired end. In doing so, they absolutely have no regard for God or for any moral principle. Their god, just like the Satanists, is their desire and it does not matter how they come about it; they have become their own gods even though they may profess to be Christians.
The way of Jesus on the other hand, leads all of us to the One God who is the Father of us all. In and through Jesus we are brothers and sisters, and communion with God and each other is the goal, and Jesus, is the way to this goal. But it is the way of truth, of respect for the values of the Gospel; it is the way that envisions life beyond the grave! It is on this vision that the meaning and relevance of all our goals and desires rest! So, where are you going? May the Lord grant you the grace to respond honestly to this question. Amen