Friday, February 20, 2009

Things That Should Inspire Awe

My friend, Devin, has made a very astute observation on her blog. First, you need to go and watch this funny/insightful interview from Conan on her blog.

Now, notice what she said at the end of her post: "True happiness is found nowhere outside of Christ. Period." Devin, you've made the connection that most people haven't: Things that should inspire awe are intended to bring joy. When God gives us Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ, we find our greatest level of happiness.

In reality, though, at this point in eternity, we only get glimpses of God's glory--that which would imbue awe. By His providence He gives us all good things to enjoy in order to point us to Him. So when I enjoy an incredibly tasty meal made by my beautiful wife, I am called to see this as only a shadow of a reflection of God's glory.

But, as this guy (unawaringly), and more awaringly by Devin, has pointed out, we are not seeing that God is good, unimaginably good. We find pleasure in the thing itself for a very brief period and then find that it stops satisfying. And what has been observed in this video is a trend, a downward spiral that is described very clearly in Eugene Peterson's paraphrase of Romans 1:18-23:
But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.

What is scary--really, terrifying--is what that passage goes on to say. Read it for yourself here.

We need water to drink that will cause us to never thirst again. We need bread to eat that we can buy without money. I can tell you where we'll find that:
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

1 comment:

Devin said...

Wow. Put so much more eloquently than I ever could have. Thanks Paul.

So glad that my happiness is found in Christ....