Life Optimization and the apparent failure of God: Good Friday edition.

by Margaret Ryland

It’s 8:30 Good Friday morning, and unlike my formerly-optimized self of past months, I was blearily stumbling around to get things in order to be on the podcast of some old friends.

We speak of many things; I’m the guest so they ask me all about my business journey, the story of how I came to work in the branding and design world.

We’ve known each other since children; as adults are all on similar paths of optimization and entrepreneurship of some kind. So there’s a special bond.

Towards the end of our conversation, one of the hosts said something that has stuck with me. (I paraphrase)

“You know, there’s a certain danger when you get deep into the optimize-your-life mindset. Getting up at 4:30 is great, but at the end of your life it’s not going to matter as much as how you loved people, how you made them feel, what good you did for them.”

In other words, optimization is a worthy endeavor insofar as it helps us be ordered to a good end.

But sometimes what is good, doesn’t look like optimization. Like Good Friday.

It’s the day we remember when Man tried to kill God.

The day when God let himself fail in human terms.

I sure can’t stand in front of a cross and see that as optimization.

But He knew what we didn’t.

He knew that death would never have the last word. Despite appearences.

He knew that though there is Good Friday with all its horror and failure, there would be Easter Sunday.

The failure of Friday to the triumph of Sunday.

The ultimate optimization if you ask me.