For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well." -Psalm 139
"Your natural life is derived from your parents; that does not mean it will stay there if you do nothing about it...You have to feed it and look after it: but always remember you are not making it, you are only keeping up a life you got from someone else." -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
In my own power, I did absolutely nothing to start me. My life is not my own. It follows then that life is not a story about me. So what exactly is life a story about? Why do we care? Should we care? Do we really want to know?
I think that the answer that echoes throughout the halls of millenia past is a resounding, "YES!" We have tirelessly discussed, argued, philosophized, theorized, pondered and lost sleep over these questions. Everyone thinks about it; whether he or she will admit it and offer the time to have a discussion about it is another story.
If we have no control over our birth and no control (ultimately, despite the best efforts of modern science) over our death, are we just fighting a losing battle? From dust to dust, right?
But the very fact that we do care about the meaning or purpose of life puts an end to that question. What if, since we truly exist beyond our own control, we were destined to live for something beyond our earthly being? We understand a difference between what is right (or even fair), within certain bounds, and what is wrong (or even unfair). As Lewis discusses, we've all heard these remarks before, either out of our own mouths or of others': "How'd you like it if anyone did the same to you?" "C'mon you promised!"
Yes, philosphers debate the existence of absolutes truth, but anyone with a healthy mind (I concede that many in history have had polluted and unhealthy minds) has felt wronged at one time in their lives.
We have each known something right, too. Our own consciences testify to the fact that there is Truth. The "Golden Rule" didn't invent itself. One could argue that the "survival of the fittest" allows for this rule and even caused its genesis, because "doing unto others as we we would have them do unto us" makes a more fertile soil to grow the "fittest" individuals. But listen to what Jesus says in the holy texts of Christianity:
"Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
So, if we weren't created by ourselves and death is inevitable and there is this thing called Truth which causes us to consciously understand a difference between loving and hurting someone, then I have to think there is a more intelligent being who created Life. And if he did, and I certainly believe he did (Aside: Look at creation! Have you ever, in your life, seen anything create itself from nothing? I've never heard of that occuring in any laboratory. There is always a designer working outside of the bounds of the matter to cause it to do as the artist/scientist wishes).
The icing on the cake is that God didn't leave us in the dark. He came to earth, his son Jesus Christ more precisely, and turned the light on for us. We didn't create ourselves, but somehow find ourselves consciously recognizing what we think is fair and unfair, all the while we mess things up for ourselves and make poor choices, wondering what the purpose of life is. And it's a purpose I don't want to miss out on!
"I am the Way, the Truth and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father, except through me." -John 14:6
So, is "[coming] to the Father" that purpose? Is that what life is all about? I think so. I really do. And I believe that's what Jesus' life was all about. To bring us back to our Creator, our Father.
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do." -Jesus, John 17:3-4
P.S. If you want to challenge your views of our purpose on this earth, check out Don't Waste Your Life, by John Piper. Good stuff.