I grew up in south in 1960's. Married when I was 18 and joined Army when I was 23. I traveled to Germany then back to states where I lived in Connecticut for a while and then Tennessee for 10 years. I am now living in Maine.
Of all traveling I have done in my life I have heard people asking one question constantly. It doesn't matter if you are religious or not. We all want to know "What is meaning of life?" I myself have asked that question a thousand times.
Socrates and Plato and a thousand other deep thinkers of their times have tried to define or explain meaning of life. Each with his own perception and understanding and most times with a very complicated explanation.
It was not until I took up hiking in mountains of Tennessee that I had plenty of time to ponder complexities of this age old question. Being a Christian I was raised to believe certain things and to look at life in certain ways. But as I got older and began studying and searching for myself I began to realize that what I was taught as a child was not as complicated as some would have had me believe.
I always wondered why God would have put us here simply to suffer through this life. After all he does love us and of that I have no doubt. So why then? I studied and pondered and reflected in deep thought just like many have before me, and like them, to no avail.
Then one day while hiking Appalachian Trail in Tennessee I came to a clearing overlooking a valley. It was a clear day with sun shining bright. As I looked out across valley I saw an eagle soaring on wind. And as usual thought crossed my mind that it would be really nice to be able to soar like that. Then I thought, do eagles look at us and wish they were like us?