A nontrivial portion of the universe's evolution over the last 13 billion years or so has come from humans and other species following a basic life process: Aspire. Act. Learn. Repeat.
Sometimes we follow the process into blind alleys. And sometimes when we try to follow it, we end up temporarily doing more harm than good.
But on the whole, over time we've been doing our infinitesimal bit in bringing order from chaos, in making our corner of the universe more "good."
We seem to be most effective at participating in this ongoing process when we follow Jesus's teachings — that is:
- When we seek the best for others as we do for ourselves.
- When we face the facts, instead of trying to live in a fantasy world of wishful thinking.
- When we change our lives if that seems to be called for.
- When we strive to be ready for whatever might happen — including facing God, because we never know when that might happen.
It's as though God has put us in place to serve as created co-creators, in Lutheran theologian Philip Hefner's phrase.
And perhaps from time to time he provides us with subtle nudges, in ways we don't understand. After all, our desires, to say nothing of our inspirations about how the world works, must come from somewhere.
In part through humanity's ability to learn, the Creator seems to make use not just of our successes, but of our failures too, and even of our catastrophic screw-ups.
So we should keep something in mind: When we desire, when we act, when we
learn, we're not just cutting stone to pay the bills — we're helping to
build a cathedral.
The cathedral's design is beyond our ken, certainly now and perhaps
forever. We can only guess how it will ultimately take shape.
But by all indications, the finished product is going to be unimaginably wonderful.
And for reasons I won't go into here, it's not unreasonable to think that the Builder will not simply dismiss us peremptorily when our work on his project is done.
Maybe it's just me, but I find incredible joy in this.