The Very Purpose of Life

by Anqi

I was admitted to the University of Texas at Austin for the Ph.D. program in physics. And I arrived in the States in August, 2018. Because I only conditionally passed the international teaching assistant English exam, I had to take an English class which I wish to be my last one. My English teacher Christine recommended me some English speaking events, and I signed up for one called Discover America. It is a Chi Alpha-organized event to invite international students to experience American culture and exchange different cultures. The organizers and hosts were very welcoming, caring and loving to serve. I was impressed by their hospitality, politeness and faith.

On the last Saturday night of Discover America, Josh and Michael invited me to church for the next day. I was very hesitant because I mostly had a concept of the church from history books and wedding movies. At last, I decided to visit, to understand people from the opposite spectrum and draw some conclusions on their religiosity. Indeed they are very different. For the whole church service I was sitting down uncomfortably to observe what they were doing. Their love for God seemed to overflow too much through singing and shouting and raising their hands. But the care and kindness towards each other seemed to come from the same love, which is the most attractive part for me. I would not have cared to know about God and His good news if I hadn’t seen the fruits of people who claimed to be His children.

I gradually attended more worship gatherings and Bible studies. It dawned to me that Jesus did not come to create a religious system, but to reveal the God that created the universe and help whoever is willing to make peace with God. His name and figure have been kidnapped by cultures and religions, but what is written in the Bible about his life is falsifiable history. My Bible study leader and my best friend Cohovi persuaded me to go to the Altitude camping conference inside the cabin with AC. The sermon on the first night was about “to live is Christ, to die is gain”. On the second night I asked many questions to him till 3 a.m., about the abilities and character of God, the contents and infallibility of the Bible, and the logic and process of salvation. I didn't want to waste more time if Christianity is a fairy tale, and I didn't want to waste more time if Christianity is objectively true. On the morning of Oct.7th, 2018, I admitted that I am morally imperfect while Jesus is morally perfect, for He is God and He is the son of God. With His perfect love and justice, He took the punishments meant for men, so I decided to accept this free gift and become worthy through Jesus to call the one true God my Savior and Father.

That is the start of my marriage-like eternal relationship with God. The love, joy and peace immediately filled my heart as I was reborn of God's Holy Spirit. He is clarifying that love comes from a willingness to give, not to take; happiness comes from knowing God, not being a god; control of life comes from the promised eternal hope, not struggling in the uncertainty. At the very night I joyfully deleted all the explicit videos on my computer. I started to get out of the comfort zone for conversations unrelated to any clear goals. I learned to be more loving and generous to others.

Following Jesus to live as God's image is the very purpose of life.