Summary: It’s not about us. God’s purposes are paramount.
Note: This topic and some of the ideas come from Rick Warren’s "40 Days of Purpose" campaign.
[Clip: "Everybody Loves Raymond," excerpted from episode 119, "Talk To Your Daughter". Note: this episode is one of four included in a "For Your Consideration" DVD/VHS package that was prepared for the 2002 Emmy voters. You might find it on ebay.]
Deborah: Ally just doesn’t want to know how we get here; she wants to know why we’re here. Why God put us on earth. She’s waiting for Ray to answer her.
Frank: What’s wrong with you - it’s simple.
Raymond: Oh, okay - we’re going to learn the meaning of life from a guy who wants threw his show at a swan.
Frank: That’s called protecting your sandwich. Listen to me. Here’s what life is - you’re born, you go to school, you go to work, you die. That’s it, that’s all, canoli Marie.
Raymond: We’re not talking about what we do while we here, dad.
Robert: Yeah, the big question is why we’re here in the first place.
Marie: I think Ally is too young to be worrying about things like this.
Deborah: No, I’m proud of her. I love it that she’s such an independent thinker.
Raymond: If she’s so independent, why can’t she figure this out herself?
Deborah: Ray, just get up there and tell her that God put us on earth to help each other. It’s simple, it’s direct, it’s a good way for her to live her life.
Raymond: What are you talking about? That doesn’t answer anything? What - are you telling me that God says, "mmm, let’s see - what should I put there?"
Robert: That’s your God?
Robert: No way. It’s got to be deeper and cool..."Hello, I’m God."
Marie: Keep going Raymond. I think you’re a wonderful God.
Raymond: Thank you. So what did God say? Hey, "I’m going to put some humans on earth, so they can help each other." Or, "I can just skip humans altogether and go hit a bucket of balls."
Marie: Oh, I know. It’s all in the Bible.
Robert: Ever think about space? What is it? Is it really endless? I mean if you had a spaceship, could you go flying and flying into space forever?
Frank: Why don’t you give it a shot?
Robert: No, I’m not kidding around here. How could space go on forever? And if it doesn’t, what’s at the end?
Marie: Stop it, Robert. You’ll give yourself a tummy ache.
Robert: What about the beginning of time? What was it before that? Before time - nothing? What is nothing? How could there be nothing? This doesn’t it bother anybody else?
Marie: Now everybody, listen to me. In the Bible, it says here "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Okay, okay, okay. It might take me a minute.
Deborah: A minute, more, Marie. Scholars have spent their entire life trying to answer this question. You’re not just going to flip through the Bible and find the meaning of life.
Marie: "Oh, ye of little faith" - that’s in here somewhere, too.
Robert: Did you know the fruit fly only lives one day?
Raymond: Ah, are you okay there?
Robert: One day. What’s his meaning of life? Maybe there’s no meaning of life for anyone of us. Am I any different than the fruit fly?
Frank: The "fruit" part’s the same.
Deborah: Robert, the fruit fly doesn’t question why he’s here - that’s what makes us different. I don’t know, maybe that’s kind of the meaning of life. Never knowing the answer, but always wondering about it.
Raymond: So God made us smart enough to know that there’s an answer, but not smart enough to figure it out?
Robert: Come on!!
In this episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond", America’s favorite dysfunctional family is trying to answer the question that is at the heart of today’s message: what on earth are we here for? Ray’s father Frank, you could label a materialist: "You’re born, you go to school, you go to work, you die. That’s it, that’s all." As far as he’s concerned, there is no purpose; there is no deeper meaning to life. We simply exist for a short time, and then we cease to exist. End of story. Your life and mine have no more significance than that of a fruit fly. Ray’s wife, Debra, you might call a moralist. She thinks we’re put on earth to help other people. Do good deeds. Make the world a better place. Ray and his brother Robert, on the other hand, are basically clueless. They can ask the question, and in fact Robert agonizes over the question, but they can’t answer it. Only Marie has any idea where to look for help, and she’s not all that certain.