Tonight I was at a campus function where the guest speaker, seeking to motivate the students, said a remarkable thing.
We are the only creatures that God created who are restless, we are the only creatures who have ambition. …It is part of our having been made in the image of God that we have ambition, drive to become something more.
On one level he is certainly right. Elephants, cows, and cats do not strive for anything beyond their basic needs. We alone seek not only to build shelter, but to create buildings that will stand for generations and be admired by all. We alone strive beyond need…
But is that because we are made “in the image of God”? Is God ambitious? Is ambition even a positive trait? Certainly it can lead to sinful behavior. What do you think?
6 thoughts on “Ambition – In the image of God?”
In earlier days I might have said no – but now, I would question why I would say no. Theoretically speaking God having no needs, could have no ambition. But theory does not speak – God seeks those who worship in spirit and in truth. That seems ambitious to me. The other night I had a thought – that God knew good and evil – and desired to share this knowledge. Such ambition seems to have succeeded. ambeo – to go around – sounds like the role of the accuser in Job who was ambling about on the earth observing as Crenshaw notes in Defending God in the last section on Job, those whose religion is not for naught.
The accuser then gets his way – but it is the fire of God and the hand of God that effects the misery. Was God ambitious? Not in the human sense of limited good but in the sense that love motivates. The accuser has no part in the final chapter. Ambition is satisfied.
Bob – you have (as usual) given me a lot to chew on. As usual it all comes down to definitions. Still…I need to think some more on this.
The speaker’s comment reminds me of a passage from C. S. Lewis:
“Man is the only amateur animal; all others are professionals. They have no leisure and they do not desire it. When the cow has finished eating, she chews the cud; when she has finished chewing, she sleeps; when she has finished sleeping, she eats again. She is a machine for turning grass into calves and milk–in other words, for producing more cows. The lion cannot stop hunting, nor the beaver building dams, nor the bee making honey. When God made the beasts dumb He saved the world from infinite boredom, for it they could speak they would all of them all day talk nothing but shop.”
Great quote! Thanks Evan. How are you doing btw. Drop me a note!
Dolphins exhibit many characteristics of ‘leisure’. A classic example: flipping jellyfish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA9W-Aj1Mtc