Monday, October 29, 2007

Why do our best?

Why do our best?

It makes us happy. It's who we are.

God does His best. He would not do less. We are created in God's image, and are therefore designed to do our best.

"The very word 'man' implies 'God,' the very word 'relative' implies 'Absolute.'"
- Frithjof Schuon

God exists in an eternal dimension. We are designed to aim towards that which has eternal value, such as: love, courage, grace, forgiveness, wisdom, loving action, et al.

We have free will. Thus we may freely choose to act in service of eternal values.

We are designed not merely to understand eternal values, but rather to be filled with them. For instance, we are designed not merely to understand the definition of love, but rather to be love - to embody love - as an active state of being. This is more profound than merely understanding love as a definition.

Thus empowered, thus inspired, we will naturally choose moral action. We will naturally choose to do our best. How could we do less? Our choices will have eternal value.

"the devil ... never sleeps but goes about seeking whom he may devour."
- Thomas a Kempis, in Imitation of Christ

We are also designed to be imperfect. We exhibit both eternally useful values and eternally useless values. We are moral, then immoral. We do our best, then less than our best.

Yet, we are not designed to aim ourselves towards that which is temporary and eternally useless. Truth and happiness do not await us there.

When we have moments of weakness: when we temporarily believe we will be happiest doing less than our best; when we lie to ourselves; when we succumb to devilment; when we succumb to the base parts of our nature - whatever your preferred description: in those moments, we fail to be true to our design, to our Designer, and to ourselves.

In those moments, we lie to ourselves. We tell ourselves we will be happier doing less than our best. This is a lie and a fantasy. In the moment, we do not recall why it is a lie and a fantasy. In the moment, we pretend the fantasy is truth.

"Everything has already been said, and well said; but one must always recall it anew."
-Frithjof Schuon

We are designed in God's image. We aim towards that which has eternal value. In the aiming, and the being, and the taking of action: we experience wisdom, virtue, and love. We experience fulfillment, satisfaction, pleasure, accomplishment, and life.

Why do our best?

It makes us happy. It's who we are.

And it's just more fun!

Companion post: Do your best

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