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....