This is the beloved air I breathe
2006-07-20 00:30:23 (UTC)

the purpose of pleasure

so, I'm at this place in my life where i'm really starting
to get confidence back about who I am. For the longest
time I had been bogged down - I couldn't see a way through
the thick clouds that I saw ahead of me - but now it's like
the fog has cleared and I see this brightness before me. I
can't actually see what's before me - but I know it's
something great!

I was talking to a friend today about life, and I asked him
if he had ever had an experience where he was so incredibly
happy, so incredibly at peace that he thought to
himself "this is heaven". both of the guys sitting at my
table said "no".
Have you ever had that experience? The purpose of my
question was in the midst of a theological conversation,
but when they said no, I had to stop there, because I just
couldn't believe it.

I have been going through a rennisance of sorts in my life -
a period of enlightenment (hence the "bright" future I see
before me...)and one of the re occuring ideas that keeps
being brought to my attention is this concept of pleasure.
I had found notes from a workshop that I had been to where
the teacher talked about this concept of pleasure - that
it's ment to suggest something more....mmm..I don't quite
know how to explain it because I'm just starting to grasp
it myself.
here is the gist...I think:
there cannot be a craving for which there is no fulfillment.
For instance, if you are craving food, there is food to
satisfy that craving. If you have emotional cravings,
there has to be something that exsists to satisfy that,
even if we can't find it, that doesn't mean that it doesn't
exsist. That's where God comes in. There are just some
things that we are not able to find earthly fulfillment
for - but there is a fulfillment for it - just not on
earth....well, I'm still learning about this, I'm only in
the middle of the book. The book is "Mere Christianity" by
C.S. Lewis. It's a tiny little thing, but it's very dense
and I reccomend it to ANY Christian...and anyone interested
in Christianity - his first chapters even mark out a
philosophical argument for the exsistance of God, if that
is something you are struggling with.

As I was going through this little enlightenment time, I
picked up "The Last Battle" , the last book in the
Chrinicles of Narnia, because I was looking for something
specific - and I started reading this thing about half way
through (I must have read those books about a thousand
times, so it was no problem to pick up halfway through) and
I couldn't believe what I was reading. It was like all of
a sudden I was seeing what Lewis was really trying to say
about God and heaven - and my eyes filled with tears as I
read the book aloud to myself - I love reading out loud -
even if I'm the only one listening - I feel I absorb what
I'm reading better (and on a side note, I have this desire
to read aloud to my love, whomever he will be , I feel that
this can be a truly intimate experience, reading aloud a
book like that to your love..anyway, I digress)
In the book, there is this man who has worshiped the evil
god tash his whole life because that was the culture he was
raised in, but when he comes face to face with Aslan (the
good God) he is overcome with sorrow - he falls at Aslan's
feet worshipping and says that he's so sorry that he
worshipped the wrong God - that he didn't know - and Aslan
basically says that his heart knew, and even though he
didn't know Aslan's name, this man's heart knew who Aslan
was. Does anybody really understand the consequences of
what Lewis is implying here?
And then in the book, all of the charachters walk through
this barn door, and they are in the most beautiful place
that they have ever seen in their entire lives, even more
beautiful than Narnia - and Aslan tells them to go "further
up and further in" and they keep going and climbing, and
they realize that they are in Narnia - but that this Narnia
is more....well...real...than the narnia that they have
always known, and then they go further up and further in,
and they come to another place, that is more beautiful than
the previous, and they realize that they are now in
the "real" narnia - that everything is more alive and more
clear, and that the Narnia that they had always known was
just a shadow of the one that they were in, a copy.

That is what the bible says about Earth. That this world
is like looking through a mirror - and that the spiritual
world is more clear, and when we get to heaven it will be
like a thick fog has been removed from our eyes and we will
be able to see more clearly than we ever were able to

All of that very long explanation to say this:
The implication is this - the pleasure that we experience
on this earth, while it is sometimes gratifying, points to
the real pleasure that we will experience after this earth -
it is only a shadow of true and real pleasure. The same
goes for love. Maybe that's why I find it so sad that some
of my friends have never experienced true unadulterated
pleasure on this earth -
it would make sense that they do not know who the amazing
God is if they have never had any resemblence of that
pleasure, or that joy or that love here on earth.
So, maybe that's why Jesus was just all about loving

I really think that's the key - the thing that many in the
institution of the church miss - loving people - not for
the motive of converting them- but just to love them.
Jesus wasn't about converting people. He knew that when
people encountered him, it would be a natural result that
they would simply want to be around him. He just gave pure
love - for free. Why can't we do that as Christians?

this person, the one that I like at work - I've spent so
much time in prayer for him - just praying that his soul
would recognize the voice of God when it quietly whispers
his name in the silence of the night. I really think that
God can speak for himself. Too often in these times we get
the notion that God needs us to go around converting
people...I really don't think that's what "make disciples"
meant. Maybe that's another something for me to study.

Once again, I'm digressing.
My point, is that I'm at a place in my life where I'm
experiencing pleasure, and I have only God to thank for it,
and I just can't wait to experience the real thing...or the
more real thing, as the case may be.

when you look in the mirror tonight, think about it. Think
about how amazing it will be. Does your heart have
cravings that you didn't even let yourself acknowledge
because you were too afraid to hope that there could be a
fulfillment? Take heart, Hope away!