I feel like I’ve spent most of my life getting ready for something. High school was supposed to prepare me for college, college was what I needed to get through to be ready for seminary, and seminary is what I need to do to be prepared to serve in a career capacity. Society then states that the purpose of a career is not solely for my enjoyment or for my own expenses, but to be able to prepare to support a family and to get my children ready to start the process of getting ready for other things. There is never a completion to this process but rather it is a constant cycle of preparation.
Because I end up thinking about things in reference to other things, my mind wandered to Super Mario 64 and its Endless Staircase. It is supposed to lead to the end of the game, but until the player is sufficiently equipped with a certain amount of stars, the staircase is just a loop that has no summit. There are times where I find life to be the same way. The cycle of moving from one thing to the next as a linear progression creates a kind of endless staircase. There seems to never be an end goal to life, just another set of stairs to climb. Or maybe there is. Maybe at a certain point I can reach a point that ends the feedback loop and reach the “goal” of life. Maybe there is a victory condition that I’ve yet to achieve.
Or maybe there’s no need for a staircase. I think the end goal of life is to live it with a purpose. The feedback loop of preparation is necessary, but the goal isn’t to get ready to get ready. Life is to be lived with a purpose. The stairs distract from the need for that purpose and instills a complex of inferiority because we can’t see the top. Instead, I hope we see that the goal in life is not to be fully equipped to live it, but rather to do the best we can to serve what we are called to. Let’s take the elevator instead. It’ll get us where we’re going.