The Christian says, ‘Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.
~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— … But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
~ paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Philippians 3
Oh beloved, it is true.
We get in such a hurry. We see life only in the context of the rapidly closing opportunity we currently have to breathe, while trying to lay ahold of all the things we think we need to be happy.
The moment we are born, we sense it. The doctor lays us on the breast of the woman who bore us. And immediately we begin rooting around for connection. We find it. We drink in the nourishment, and the thousands of connecting chemicals, nutrients, and micro-biotic life in the milk and skin of our mother lights the flame. We felt the true pleasure, safety, and connection with her. It was true, and right, and good.
But it was not enough.
The race is on from that moment. Something within us is terrible and insatiable. There rises up within us a ravenous hunger for something. And with each step in our development – with each step we take into life – the dissatisfaction grows. We eat, and for a moment it is great. We take our first step. We learn to communicate. We begin to gain a modicum of control in our environment.
But every new step flashes some eternal signboard that we only grasp for an instant. And then it is gone.
We make friends. We learn more. We join the teams. We play the instruments. We make the grades. We go to the parties. We watch the movies. We meet that girl. We graduate and get the job. We buy the car. We build the house. We get married. We have the kids – and feel the deep beauty of the circle of life.
But it is not enough.
Can we see it?
It is more like feeling it. The combination of the speed of our years, and the zero percent of the time that any power, pleasure, honor, or money give us what we keep thinking might just come to us – if we try the same insanity Just. One. More. Time… And, of course, this is one of the reasons many of us formerly lost boys showed up at the Colony of Mercy.
But, even in realizing that nothing is going to fill us in this world. Even in our freedom bought by Christ, and wrought through His death and ours with Him, we feel this abyss within us. Nothing is wrong. It just isn’t enough. In some ways, now the hunger is even deeper. We almost despair of hope of finding it in this world….
GOOD!!!! Now, we are on the right track beloved.
This fool of a writer has been laid on the anvil of His Grace lately. In times like this; in times of pain, and of fading hope for things being ok in this world, eternity comes into view. And, when we get still enough to let G_d do the deep and delicate work required on our souls we finally can begin to get it.
Wealth, Power, Pleasure, and Honor are icons. And the good things of this life are a fulcrum upon which our inner man pivots. Huhh??? Hold on, it is not too complicated. The good of this life is all intended to point us to The Source of the Goodness within the good things we experience – BUT, they were never intended to convey the full effect. They were intended to point us towards G_d, Who is The Good we seek. The fulcrum? When we get it backwards, we pivot the pointer in on ourselves in a vain attempt to experience the real with the symbol – and this will never work.
So, are you in a hurry? Are you impatiently trying to get that activity, or image, or thing, or money, or chemical to get what you want? It can’t happen. They are only pointers. And the signs will fade away with the rest of this physical universe. But, The Love and Beauty and Power and Wealth and Pleasure we truly seek (even if we don’t know it yet) is outside of time. All of it. ALL. OF. IT. is in Him.
Beloved. Hold on. When tempted back to the insanity of the world, don’t turn in on yourself. Don’t get it backwards. When that enormous temptation slams you, accept it for what it is. But remember, it is not enough. Even if you or i give in, it is not going to get us what we want.
We want Him.
Tonight is your night. Let the dissatisfaction you are feeling fill you with Hope. Just a few more sleeps. Just a few more marches through some tough spots, and time is going to run out its own clock. And it will be in that moment where, with not one bit of rush, we will look up into The Eyes of The One Who IS what all those pointers were pointing to.
Him. Him Alone.
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.
~ Clive Staples (CS, Jack) Lewis, from “The Weight of Glory”
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Think About This: “Christ’s sacrifice satisfied the Father’s anger so that, as his child, you will receive his discipline but need not fear his wrath.” -Paul David Tripp