The Rebbe of Kotzk said: “If a person is truly aware that Hashem created the world, then all earthly things appear to be of negligible value. If one were truly convinced of the uniqueness of his mission in life his behavior would be radically different and he would put great effort into discovering that mission and fulfilling it. The extent of our efforts to accumulate earthly things indicates the value we ascribe to materialism. The very first words of the Torah hint at the basis for a spiritual life, “And the earth (and everything associated with it i.e. material goals) was barren and desolate.” (Bereishis 1:2) From the onset of the Torah we are already being taught what our goals in life should be – to attach our soul to Hashem; anything else is meaningless and empty.
Our goal in life should be to synchronize our will with Hashem’s will so that we may eternally bound ourselves to Him. Pursuit of this lofty goal essentially nourishes our soul and contributes to a healthy well-rounded life enveloped in meaning and happiness. Fundamentally, this is the basis of performing all mitzvot.
When the soul descends to this world it is placed in a coarse materialistic package called the body. This environment creates a thick barrier which obstructs the soul from being able to sense attachment to Hashem. Basically you can call the body a spiritual sewer, yet it is in this most challenging space that the soul can fulfill the goal of attaching itself to doing Hashem’s will through free-will.
Hashem ‘craves’ for us (a.k.a. the soul) to become one with Him. The success in doing so is solely dependent on our will. Our will is developed through recognizing and strengthening our deep love for Him; the more we love Hashem the more we will desire to become one with Him.