As a young child, and even into early adulthood, this question perplexed me, and the answer seemed so vague as to hardly be capable of any true meaning itself. I don't remember if it was in a movie, or if someone I knew revealed the "answer" to me, but ite was: "this"...as a single finger was held up. The meaning of life is "THIS [ONE THING]" that you find more important that any other thing and you live your life to achieve that [one thing] which can only be known to you, and you alone...only YOU know what is repreented by that finger you hold up.
Well, that sounded fine enough at the time. All I had to do was figure out what was more important to me than anything else in the world...the one thing I'd want to live my life for. But there's a problem with that. What if my "one thing" directly conflicts with someone else's? OR what if my "one thing" necessarily subjects other people to my own will...is THEIR "one thing"...their "meaning of life" subject to mine? The problem that evetually arises from that answer of "this" is that it makes us our own master and places everyone else below us...and one of the problems with that is that chaos must necessarily result...because as I try to subject everyone else to MY one goal in life, someone else is probably doing the same thing at the same time...and now we have a struggle over power, over who is right, over whose "meaning of life" is more important that the other's. What we end up with is a bunch of "gods" who all try to make our own decisions for our own lives based on what we ourselves find to be most important, regardless of others and regardless of each other. And the moment we put a qualifier on "this" to account for all "that", then it's no longer "this" that is the meaning of life, but it is "this, which is subject to that, and that, and that, ad nauseum...". And if MY "this" is subject to something else...then isn't that something else the REAL meaning of life...and now do I need to conform MY meaning in life to THAT one??
Well, it just gets more complicated and confusing from there. It becomes an endless cycle of who gets to decide, and whose goals can be subject to whose, and who has rights and who doesn't...each point and each turn completely dependant upon some subjective opinion that is eventually going to conflict with someone else's. So, IS there a real meaning of life??
Yes, yes there is. And the answer is so simple that the question about the meaning of life should not cause any confusion or any perplexing and complicated thought process. The meaning of life is simply this: to know, love and serve our Creator. That's it. The human race was created, and created for a purpose...for that "meaning of life"...and that purpose is, in most simple terms, "to know, love, and serve God".
That is the meaning of life.