The world is a competitive place. In the scorecard of life that shapes many of our lives, the only score that counts is the final one. How is secondary to the finish. The way we compete fades with the results. Even our approach, preparation, and progress become silent footnotes with the finish. The means always seems less important than the ends. It is difficult to believe that Machiavelli was, at the heart of his belief, wrong. Life seems to dictate the framework.
I believed when I was young. Destinations were all that mattered! Scorecards were final. Second place was merely the first of the also ran and losers. I am not sure when things changed. Was it with a child’s smile and innocence lost in the pursuit of someone’s arbitrary whim? Could it have happened with the death of James Harris? Perhaps it was grabbling with the awareness of the price the girls have paid for my commitment to try and accomplish the impossible. I know now that it was all this and more that slowly drove a compassionate awareness into my soul.
Life is, for most of us, simple and complex at the same time. We hold spoken and unknown values and priorities close to our heart. They are shown to others through our actions. We compete in a game the world sets without consideration for fairness, mercy, or a sense of greater good. The mix of the two plays out in our lives in ways we find confusing. In the midst of this, a sense of purpose is found in “God's Message: ‘Guard my common good: Do what's right and do it in the right way, for salvation is just around the corner, my setting-things-right is about to go into action.’” (Isaiah 56.1)
Today’s dawn comes silently from the east. I have no idea how things will play out. I do not know how one will win in the game at hand. Yet the call to the path is strong; do what's right and do it in the right way. We have the means.
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