Goodness

I was not made to

  • find,
  • honor, or even
  • strive toward

my

  • goodness,
  • beauty,
  • truthfulness, or
  • completeness.

That is a good thing because

  • I stumble clumsily over myself, as if I have just learned to walk upright,
  • I dwell too long on the attractiveness of other men’s wives,
  • I’m not particularly generous,
  • my relationship with truth is seldom quite comfortable, and
  • I leave aside peace till after whatever accomplishment I think I need first.

The issue here is not me, because you are, more or less and in your own way, just the same. Don’t worry: it is  the human condition.

But if I and you take all the energy we spend (or most of it, since we will not be complete even in this) on striving for or depending on our own worth, however we measure it, and direct that energy to honoring the worth of the good, beautiful, truthful, and complete God, then we can take up peace today because it no longer waits for our own accomplishment.

    An alcoholic might think that life awaits sobriety: I’ve heard some say as much, and it may be true in some ways. But seeing goodness does not wait for a day when I can see it in myself or when an alcoholic can see it in himself or herself. It does not await the end of the first full week of sobriety or any other such goal. Sobriety is good, but goodness, truth, and beauty do not wait for it — provided that they are seen where they exist securely, in the good God. Sobriety is a good goal, but not if striving toward it comes to be worship of the vision of a sober self. Repeating that more generally: I may have in mind goals I haven’t reached or good habits I don’t have yet, but a vision of me having attained those things is, for any and all practical purposes, just as lacking, compared to the good God, as I am today.  Whatever I might become will never rival God for worship, so there is no reason for me to delay worship or life or peace till after I become that. If I depend too much on the future, I may be withholding praise from God.