There is, I have found a terrible, awful, pull of this world to be exceptionally mediocre. In fact, everywhere we turn are rest stops where sit hundred of thousands of people indebted to themselves. By this I mean ultimately that their primary concern and focus is their own comfort and pleasure. This is the true recipe for an ineffective life. It is an awful dramatic irony, that only the universe is audience to, that it (the universe) would first convince us our drive for self satisfaction (over and above the needs of others) is biological and therefore natural and pure and second that it has convinced us it exists as an external source and not, as it truly is, a twisting of what was meant as true and pure from our roots in Eden.
Now I am not, as many might argue I am, proposing a pantheistic view of the physical. The physical is not divinity. Nor am I arguing a gnostic view: rejection of the physical as bad and acceptance of the spiritual as good. However we have, in Western culture, accepted a view that separates things as religious and others as secular. Church is religious but science is secular. Music, many believe, can be religious or secular. This is simply not the case. There is no separation of our actions into two realms. Nor is there a separation of what has been created into two realms; for we know what He made is good. It is only in our use of what was made for good that it can become corrupted (A user error of the highest and most destructive kind). It may be argued that there are things that are intrinsically bad and bad apart from our actions and many good examples exist: cancer, natural disasters, viruses. For this also we are to blame. What was made for good, for example, the process of mitosis, has been corrupted through our actions in The Fall into cancer. Weather, which was meant to provide a habitat necessary for human life has been corrupted through original sin into a destructive power, turned against us. Viruses are nothing more than an efficient delivery system of genetic material into a cell, but now they deliver deadly toxin (however in some cases scientists are redeeming this by hijacking this process to benefit humankind). All this to argue that both what exist today as “intrinsically bad”, but where not, and what exists as good were both initially made and affirmed as good. And that what was made is of one source, not secular and religious but existing, neutral apart from our actions.
So what implications does this have? What we do and what we believe are intricately connected and feed into each other. For example, who would consider me sane if I believed a bridge was incredibly unstable and about to collapse, yet walk across with confidence it was sound? We do this consistently. We know the truth yet fail to walk in it. We end up appearing incredibly irrational to all but those who walk across the bridge alongside us. This leads to my main and much belabored point: if what exists was made for good and is of one source, and what we believe and do are connected, then the decision to put aside the misuse of what was made for good (in a way not originally intended for our own pleasure, in essence subjecting it to The Fall) and instead focusing on the work of redeeming what has fallen is not only our highest calling but the recipe for an extraordinary life.