Monday, February 23, 2009

True Joy

Think of your favorite culinary thrill.

For some, it may be a Snickers bar. Or perhaps something similar, but more exotic or of better quality.

When you find out how, you will know that I have enjoyed chewing a raw leaf of Collard Greens more than you ever did or ever will enjoy a Snickers bar. Or pie. Or ____.

This is the fundamental truth that every person will come to know before they get to first base with the things I am blogging.

It is a universal truth that extends beyond temporal food. It is also true of spiritual food. You think you want to gamble, pig out and watch TV or ski naked. Or _____. These are the exciting, lustful, sparkly things. You think you like them better. Better than say......sitting in church. Or wasting an afternoon helping an old widow clean her closet.

Okay, try this: Water is arguably our most basic and important wholesome food. Let's use Snickers as our representative for the most unwholesome, for the sake of illustration. Better yet, let's use a drink. Like pop? Let's just say pop. Okay, here's the experiment: How long can you go before water starts not to taste as wonderful as it did when you were first into it? 500 Years or more. Okay, now pop: A day? A week?

The more sparkly and uptown a thing is, the more tendency it has to dull over time and you may even get downright sick of it if you partake of it too much. After you are sick of it, you get used to it again, because water now seems even less attractive. So you get so pop is just what you are used to and although it doesn't feel great, it's what you need. Not the case with water. Not the case with real food. Not the case with the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

This principle is true for other things. Music is also a good example.

When one learns how to slow down, settle down and appreciate the fine, the subtle and the sublime, he discovers for the first time a joy previously unknown if he were raised in the din of the sparkly world. He finds that raw collard greens are a much bigger thrill than Snickers - in his mouth, his stomach, and all the way out.