“I still prefer to believe that sex is a substitute for religion and that the young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God,” Father Smith said.

– Bruce Marshall, The World, the Flesh, and Father Smith.

Pictures Of God

May 18, 2012

Steve DeWitt says in Eyes Wide Open:

What creation does say, however, is glorious and elicits questions that prime our hearts to receive Christ. Our hearts ask, Who could do this? If God can do all of this, how wonderful and desirable must He be? If God made me, wouldn’t He care for me? The person who asks these questions is on the path toward the One to whom all beauty is intended to lead. Since everything God created is theology (“God-knowledge”), all creation is a treasure hunt in which God has left clues—essentially pictures of Himself. Each picture is intentionally pleasurable so as to increase our desire for more. For someone more.

Make today a treasure hunt! We love treasure. God is the only treasure that really satisfies.

I’m Hungry Pt. 2

May 15, 2012

Yesterday I wrote about our quest for glory, for an encounter with beauty. All of life is about this search for greatness, glory, and beauty. We look for it in the places we visit, the food we eat, and the entertainment we consume (great music, literature, or films). It is in the presence of greatness that we are most satisfied, and at the same time, least self-aware. Life is best when we are lost in the greatness and glory of something outside ourselves.

This quest for glory, greatness, and beauty is really a quest for God. Even a great place will bore us if we stay there long enough. The exquisite meal can seem like a PBJ if consumed regularly enough. This, of course, is where God comes in. Given that he is infinite, we will never get to the end of his greatness. In eternity we’ll never have a boring day.

John the Apostle is known as the disciple whom Jesus loved. He was very close to Jesus and knew him as well as any human could. He witnessed the transfigured Jesus. In other words, when the curtain veiling his glory was pulled back, John was there in the light brighter than the sun (Mt 17:2). Yet, when John saw Jesus in his vision in the book of Revelation, John “fell at his feet as though dead” (Revelation 1:17). John was ill equipped to encounter Jesus’ glory. This is the all-satisfying glory I’m looking for. This is what your soul craves as well. I can’t wait.

I’m Hungry

May 14, 2012

This year Debbie and I celebrate 35 years of marriage. Hopefully, we will take a trip somewhere that is fitting for such a milestone. Put differently, we’d like to travel somewhere that radiates the splendor of God. I’m thinking of a tropical island with lots of warm, clear water.

You are probably tracking with me. Most of us love to visit places that offer exquisite beauty. The coast, most of our national parks, or even a stroll up the River Trail all touch something deep within us. Beauty and grandeur just work. Our greatest moments of satisfaction occur when we are so overwhelmed by beauty, food, love, or talent that we forget about our troubles and ourselves.

While I’m looking to visit some warm tropical shore by the end of the year, I realize that the relief offered by those beautiful waters will only be temporary. Alas, all too soon, I will find myself back where I am at this very moment, seated in my chair in the office. And, even if I were able to come up with a plan that would enable us to live out our days in a place like Fiji, I realize that even the attraction of a place like that would fade.

All this to say what we’re all really looking for is heaven. Only God’s infinite glory will satisfy our thirsty hearts forever. The longer we walk this planet we live with the realization that we thirst for something more than what this world offers. I track with Paul’s words in Philippians 1:23, “I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” Until we’re called home, or Jesus returns, we always understand that even while life is often good, or even very good, all we get to do is akin to smelling the appetizers cooking. If the appetizers smell this good, just imagine how wonderful the feast will be. I’m hungry.