Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hope & the ultimate ideal


There are only the known and the unknown. In living between these two, we constantly act towards the ideal, and since we don't know the ideal can or will be achieved, we act towards the ideal in hope.

We don't know if we will have a life-long happy marriage, but we don't get married planning to be divorced. So, we marry and act through hope towards the ideal - a life-long happy marriage.

We don't know if our children will be happy, healthy and productive, but we don't have kids planning to see them incarcerated, killed, or otherwise non-productive. So, we have kids and act through hope towards the ideal - happy, healthy productive children.

We don't know if our plane will land, but we don't get on a plane planning for it to crash. So we board and act towards the ideal - a safe landing.

And so it goes. We go to restaurants and hope not to be poisoned but to enjoy a meal and good company. We go to a game, or to a show, or to work... we play a game not knowing if we will win the championship, but we play in hope towards the ideal -winning it all.

Ultimate reality for each individual is that there is life, and death. We do what we can to promote and prolong life. The ultimate ideal would be a life that does not end as, surely, we don't live in the hopes of dying, nor do we act towards death as an ideal. We live and act through hope towards as long a life as possible. The ultimate ideal would be a healthy life without end.

And so, consistent with everything else we do in life, caught between the known and the unknown, we act through hope towards the ideal. The ideal of life is life without end, and living through hope in that ideal is naturally consistent with everything else we do.

"For we are saved by hope," Paul wrote in the book of Romans, chapter 8 verse 24. Indeed, hope motivates action towards the ideal. I don't know if I will catch the bus, but if there is any hope that I might, I run perchance to realize the ideal and catch the bus.

Today, we live in the context of the known, but we are driven towards the unknown in tomorrow by hope in the ideal.

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