These kinds of questions bother me often. The universe, the world, God- it's all so huge! All so mind-blowing! It can make one feel very small and afraid, especially when these thoughts invade one's mind at 12 am! But, as I laid there in my bed, trying to make sense of it all- I finally found some answers.
First of all, as St. Francis de Sales reminds Christians in An Introduction to the Devout Life, we were made from nothing. At any moment God could decide to turn us back into nothing; He doesn't need us, we need Him. But He decided to envision us, create us, form us with a purpose. On a more personal level, He put me here in my family for a reason. I am reminded of It's a Wonderful Life as George sees what the world would be like without him, how awful and different everything was. And I wonder, " Do I really have that much of an impact on those around me?" But each and every one of us is here for something. God does have a plan for us, a task, an assignment, a quest! He made us because He wanted to share His creation with someone who would appreciate it. He wanted someone to share His love with and to love and praise Him in return.
As all of this was flying through my head, the conversation between Frodo and Gandalf in The Fellowship of the Ring brought me an unexpected ray of comfort. Frodo feels sad and overwhelmed with the task he has been assigned, and he sits down next to Gandalf and laments, "I wish the Ring had never come to me, I wish none of this had happened." And the wizard smiles lovingly at the hobbit, saying, "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you." And that applies to all of us. We have been put here, during this age and time, with a mission. Only we can decide how we will spend our small vacation here. Then, based off of our actions and devotion, we will leave here.
My prayer is that all of us will reach the lovely white shores our Father has prepared for us.
May God bless you all!
Pictures courtesy of Hubble Telescope.