There are three aspects to the great gift of God to his children:
1. the separate life given to us out of the Creator’s own life;
2. the intelligent understanding of the significance of the qualities inherent in that life; and lastly
3. the strength and integrity to carry and sustain that life.
The more these facts are considered and realised, the more we come to realise the value of our earthly life, and the Creator’s thoughtfulness in not being present in a dominant personal form which would have prevented us knowing about and developing individual independent characteristics and identity.
Because, how could we have gathered such an important part of the gift if the strong and dominant person of the Creator had been at our side in a form which we could have recognised? We would have been merged into duplicates of his own nature if our God had done that, and then what value could we have for him as friends?
But if we are being given such a great and real gift then there must also be a risk that we will not enter into the spirit of the gift sufficiently to take it. There must be a possibility that we will wilt and fade in our spirit.
If we can have real success we must also be able to have real failure, and I think this is why we sense that there is a beautiful heroic yet tragic element in life. We must become aware of its failure as well as its success.
Only our Creator can know what is real failure, but we can share the grief which he must feel for his children that he nearly wins, but who then slip away from life and from his love.
Edited from the essay Creative Friendship - The Great Gift, by William Arkle (1977)