Toward the end of the film, “Barbie” (2023), Billie Eilish gives voice to the title character with “What Was I Made For?” which became a hit song. This is far more than the familiar plot of a toy wanting to be real. It is an example of culture expressing and framing one of life’s most poignant questions.

It’s a regretful question, if you have yet to settle on a satisfactory answer. And if the answer depends on creating your internal self and adapting your morals, values, and even your physical body to it – well, that is a siren call, attractive but dangerous. In another movie, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Pete hears the sirens (three women) calling from the river. He and friends are intoxicated by the song (“you and me and the devel make three”). When they awake from their stupor, Pete appears to be turned into a frog! It’s a retelling of Homer’s “Odyssey.” Homer’s Odysseus lashed himself to his ship’s mast so he would not steer toward danger if he heard the siren call. Pete should have stayed in the Ford Model A. And you do well to seek your answers from a safe place.

Why were you made? The question acknowledges that you did not bring yourself into being and hints at the folly of defining your own existence. A related and haunting question from the depth of the human soul is if the Holy exists. It’s related because if true, it says something about you. That is your safe place to look for inspiration, courage, and meaning as you contemplate your brief sojourn on this earth.

An educated man asked Jesus to define the greatest commandment, a way of asking why humans exist. Jesus answered quoting the Hebrew Scriptures. “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:29-31). In His answer, Jesus points to the reality of the Holy, your Creator. Heart, soul, mind, and strength comprise the totality of your identity, created to love God. When you do, you love others like He does. This is not a saccharine love that urges victims toward their siren call. It is a courageous and sacrificial love that invites souls to experience God’s grace and truth.

The lyrics of “What was I made for?” include these lines: “I don’t know how to feel… I forgot how to be happy.” You don’t find happiness by pursuing it. You find it by belonging, by knowing and being known. You do belong to someone – your Creator and Savior. To love Him is to experience why He made you.