…Good stuff continued

If you haven’t yet, go back and read the comments on the former post and you’ll find some fabulous answers to my questions.  I couldn’t agree with them more.  

But back to the tea etc. I don’t think I have to tell you that even if it were entirely possible to have such uninterrupted pleasures without costs, after a few days I would be sick of it.  I would probably never want to watch another movie ever again.  And over the past couple weeks as I’ve asked people the same question: “What would you do if you could -name your pleasure- as much as you wanted?” I found that they all readily said: “I’d get tired of it.” 

So there you have it, the simple answer for why sensible people don’t spend their lives trying to seek constant pleasure.  They know it won’t make them ultimately happy.  But so many things come to mind at this point.  You might be asking: What about the people who do spend their lives, their resources seeking to gratify themselves? If simple pleasures can never fill us what can?  Doesn’t God want us to be happy?

Romans 1:25 says They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the creator… it goes on to say in verse 28: Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.  God got tired of us endlessly putting things in front of him and “gave us over” to them to show us how life is without Him as part of the picture: empty.  We aren’t all wrong in enjoying the good stuff out there, God created it for us to enjoy, then to in turn give Him the glory for His creation.  For example, you might’ve noticed, I love horses.  I love everything about them: the sweet smell of their fur, their utterly elegant shape and movement, their vibrant colors, the way they test and probe to outwit you… or try to.  Anyway: knowing, admiring, and using all the wonderful qualities of these animals only makes me respect, applaud, and adore God more. The horse didn’t create its self.  I recently sculpted a charming little French Bulldog. Say hello to him above.  His name is Jean Claude.  People don’t go up to Jean Claude and say “Wow, you’re so adorable and well-designed, good for you!” That would be stupid. I get the praise for the work I put into him.  And that’s exactly how it should be.  Same thing with God. He created pleasure, and if it’s the way it’s supposed to be, everything about it should point us directly to Him.  

In the end, as much as we might try to gratify ourselves, no amount of anything will fully please us no matter how good it is.  Except God.  I can honestly say that I don’t want or need anything else to make me happy.  That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to enjoy the good stuff that he is so nice as to give to me.  It just means that every time I’m invigorated by a blinding gallop, or enlivened by a sweet song, every time the taste of a fine new tea raptures my senses, I think of the Creator of all good stuff.


One thought on “…Good stuff continued

  1. This reminded me of two things. They’re kind of long, but they go together well.

    The first is something Sigmund Freud said about enjoyment and happiness in “The Future of an Illusion.” For the record, Freud’s a deluded pervert, and you’ll see why, but he makes you think.

    He says a function of society is to put prohibitions on our natural desires (so we don’t all kill each other). “If one imagines its prohibitions lifted — if, then, one may take any woman one pleases as a sexual object, if one may without hesitation kill one’s rival for her love or anyone else who stands in one’s way, if, too, one can carry off any of the other man’s belongings without asking leave — how splendid, what a string of satisfactions one’s life would be! True, one soon comes across the first difficulty: everyone else has exactly the same wishes as I have and will treat me with no more consideration than I treat him. And so in reality one person could be made unrestrictedly happy by such a removal of the restrictions of civilization.”

    The second is something written in 1120 by a French monk Bernard. It’s from his short work “On Loving God.”

    “It is natural for a man to desire what he reckons better than that which he has already, and to be satisfied with nothing which lacks that special quality which he misses. Thus, if it is for beauty that he loves his wife, he will cast longing eyes at fairer woman. If he is clad in a rich garment, he will covet a costlier one; and no matter how rich he may be he will envy a man richer than himself… Nowhere is there any final satisfaction, because nothing there can be defined as absolutely the best of highest. But it is natural that nothing should content a man’s desires but the very best, as he reckons it… In his greediness, he counts all that he has clutched as nothing in comparison with what is beyond his grasp, and loses all pleasure in his actual possessions by longing after what he has not, yet covets… But the perverted will struggles toward the ultimate good by devious ways, yearning after satisfaction, led astray by vanity and deceived by wickedness…They wear themselves out in vain travail, without reaching their blessed consummation, because they delight in creatures, not in the Creator. They want to traverse all creation, trying all things one by one, rather than think of coming to Him who is Lord of all. And if their utmost longings were realized, so that they should have all the world for their own, yet without possessing Him who is the Author of all being, then the same law of their desires would make them contemn what they had and restlessly seek Him whom they still lacked, that is, God himself… Man knows no peace in the world; but he has no disturbance when he is with God.” Them he goes into Psalm 73:25-26.

    Golly am I glad one of those is patent untruth. Freud’s assumption is essentially that those things are fundamentally satisfying, and by doing them endlessly one could have endless happiness. For a time they might be, but they’re not the best, and if we had an infinite amount of time to sample all of life’s enjoyments, guess where we’d end up?

    So yeah, this is a comment… Well said. Better and shorter that I could have done it, and the sculpture example is great.

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