In 2012 Tom Sietas, a freediver, broke the world record for the longest held breath. He stayed underwater for a “breathtaking” 22 minutes and 22 seconds!
Everyone who has held their breath for any amount of time knows how quickly the body begins to demand air. Breathing is an obviously vital part of life. Whether we stop breathing for 22 minutes or just for 30 seconds, everyone must eventually come back for air to continue living. Adam was the very first person to take a breath (Genesis 2:7). From this point on God has given life and breath to every person (Acts 17:25). This wonderful gift of life from God begs the question, “Why?” Why did God give us the breath of life? Why are we living and breathing? What is our purpose in this life?
King Solomon asked similar questions during his lifetime. In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon looked into almost every part of life in search for purpose and meaning. He experimented with property, possessions, entertainment, wealth, intelligence, and promiscuous activities, but found them all to be pointless and futile (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11). Finally, after completing his search, Solomon revealed the true purpose in life: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
So, why are we living and breathing? What is the purpose of this life? According to Scripture, the purpose of this life is to honor God and obey His laws in the Bible. Even though people continue to search for meaning in a variety of unfulfilling ways, life’s true purpose can only be found in God.
A life lived for God is like a breath of fresh air in this spiritually polluted world. A life lived for God feels like a refreshing breeze and brings a sense of comfort, meaning, and sincerity. So many people are suffocating in an ocean of sin. The only way to breath easy is to “fear God and keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).