Holiness in our Midst: Session 72

Holiness in our Midst


Why are we born? Why has God put us here?

In a classic episode of the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” daughter Ally, age 8, asks these questions. Her mother Debra had just assigned her father Raymond to give Ally the “facts of life” talk. Ally wasn’t interested in the “birds and bees” details, which he had prepared extensively to give her. Instead, she wanted answers to these deeper questions of life (which baffled Raymond and the whole Barone family, who deferred them, in an emergency call, to the family priest).

What is your answer to these questions? As we listen to each other’s answers, we gain insights into what motivates and shapes the perspectives of those with whom we agree and differ. My answer comes from the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which I had to study to join Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, IA at age 11. The first question was: What is the chief end of man? The answer: Man’s Chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. Having put aside the masculine language, I still retain the belief that I exist to glorify the Creator, but my primary goal has always been to enjoy the Creator. This carries with it the capacity for relationship. That means that the Holy One can enjoy me back! I also believe we are here to make our little corner of Earth more like Heaven, and, using our highest gifts, work toward the common good. How do you view Life’s purpose?

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: Why are we here?


  1. Read the above reflection.
  2. Reflect in your journal on the ultimate meaning of life.


  1.   Read aloud Session LXXII.
  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our MidstSharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

No comments yet

Comments are closed