Monday, February 06, 2006

There is more


In the intellectual mileu of contemporary culture, there's a lot of homage paid to the eastern idea of contentment. Indifference as contentment. Numbness as serenity. Death in life.

Some days this idea looks like a good alternative to feeling the longing and disappointment that are part of living in a fallen world. You know the days I mean. The days of caring for a demented aging parent while the relatives, who should be helping, criticize. The days of training a child who refuses to seize on anything or who rejects God's ways. The days of loving someone God has irrevocably placed in your life whose needs and demands are never satisfied. The days of praying without seeing an answer.

Eastern deadness provides a way to endure with patience trials of this sort. "I can stand it because nothing matters." "I can stand it because everything is illusion." But it is just that - death. Escape from reality.

Christ on the cross refused the draft that would have numbed His sensibilities and lessened His pain. He refused to escape from reality. He endured because He had a larger sense of reality. This present suffering is not the last word. It's not the whole picture.

Christian contentment does not consist of going numb (we miss the joy as well as the sorrow). It does not consist of minimizing reality. It consists of affirming that there is more. There is a heaven and an eternity in which longings will be fulfilled and sufferings will not only make sense, but will bear fruit that could not be seen from here.

Christian contentment is a journey to a larger world. There is more....

9 comments:

eph2810 said...

Oh you are so right :). I am glad that there is more than this life and that we joyfully can look forward to it.

Spring said...

Thank you! That was just the right post at just the right time. I tend to dwell in the here and now more than I ought. Our pastor gave a sermon on that yesterday and apparently it didn't sink in.

Mark Kodak said...

As it was with the flood, the only way out is through. And we have a messiah that went through it in the blackest sense and showed us where to step. He was aquainted with grief and sorrow no doubt, but also a profound joy that brought the best wine to the wedding.

Bethany said...

What a great point. I've seen some, not just in Eastern religions who've numbed themselves to all feeling as an escape from pain. It saddens me to think of the joy and blessings they miss out on...

Ann V. said...

Yes, Kim, in many ways, we are to be content in NOT being content here...to always be wanting THE MORE---which will be found in Him and Heaven. Content in waiting for complete contentment....
Blessings on you,
Ann Voskamp
HolyExperience

Full Contact, Savior-centric Livin said...

There is more..

Herein lies my hope, yet it's wonderful to see with grateful eyes the blessings of today too!

Carmen

Carol said...

Contentment is not about complacent apathy. The longing for it should send us running toward the More. Beautiful thoughts on this topic, Kim.

Heather Ivester said...

Thanks for your inspiring words. This post also reminds me of one of my favorite books, Something More, by Catherine Marshall.

Blair said...

Excellent thoughts and so true! "Feeling" sometimes hurts but is always better than the alternative. Reminds me of a quote from the movie "Shawshank Redemption". The main character is falsely accused of murder and sent to prison. Later he tells a friend to either "get busy livin' or get busy dyin'".

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