Jack Gator's Grace Notes | Norm Peterson
The good, the bad and who we are
He knows what he should be thinking about and then doing but it doesn’t seem to work out that way.
There is a program of sorts, like software inside of Gator that tells him to be kind and full of peace and goodness. However, those thoughts are not pleasant because he knows he is not kind and peaceful and certainly not graceful toward everyone else. The problem is, not only does he know inside of his mind what he should be like and also knows that he isn’t like that, he is seemingly surrounded by a lot of people having the same problem.
Why does Gator know what he should be like inside? If he is just a random collection of atoms and protoplasm, why would there even be a conflict of who he is and what he knows he should be?
This isn’t just a piece of writing about “don't worry, be happy” soft soap. Gator knows he is falling short of some sort of hard moral standard and he doesn't even know why, and what to do about it.
He wants answers. “How do I get to a place where I can find answers to everyone’s questions of why we cannot be satisfied with anything?” This answer is from a farmer in Ireland to a tourist asking for directions to Belfast: “If I wanted to go there I wouldn't start from here.”
When you get lost, you don't just keep on going. The first rule is to go back and don't take that last turn. Keep going back till perhaps you get to where you started and take the right road. How far back is it when we began going off? Do we perhaps go back to where we made up our own map?
It's time to get to know the builder of the house we are in and not ask the stairway to tell us how it got there.
We know we all are hardwired to admire honesty, gentleness, peacefulness, kindness, honor, love, joy and goodness. We are quite aware we all fall short of these ideals. The creator of all things seen and unseen seems to have given us this “moral code” we could not have obtained by evolving tooth-and-claw style.
Evolution does not give ideals and morals; why would it? But there they are, nonetheless. We don't seem to have been given a “way out” of these worthwhile attributes either. It’s all or nothing and none of us can do it and we all hope in some way it will all work out and the creator of this moral code will “let us off the hook” for not being moral to ourselves and others. Or perhaps if I really focus on one or two attributes and really try hard, maybe this god will appreciate my efforts and I can win approval. By the way, who is the builder of the house we see and live in? Your choice, really. Intelligence is necessary for creation and all the impossible combinations of life, let alone the moral code given to us humans. What sort of intelligence? A God that desires perfect moral behavior, it would seem, and if he is perfect in this way, what does that mean for us? Is he evil or good? Why do we have an intelligence to try and find God and somehow live with him? If he is evil, and we, obviously, are, why does he ask us to be and do the opposite?
After all, what is evil? Perhaps deciding we don't need that moral code and that we can do quite well on our own. How's that working out for you and me? (To be continued.) It's pretty good.
(and C.S. Lewis)
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