A Glimpse of More

Sometimes I get surprised by things. I have experiences that show me there is more to life than I had previously thought. These experiences are sometimes rather shallow, other times rather profound. An experience might enrich my life and make me feel contentment or happiness, or it might open my eyes to a void and make me feel longing or sadness.

In those moments of happiness I feel like I have a taste of what heaven is like.

In those moments of sadness I feel like I have a taste of how broken the world is.

Today the world feels very broken to me.

I’m studying Genesis right now, this week Genesis 3, which has me thinking about the beginning of suffering and pain. I’m wrestling with how much of pain and suffering that I experience can be traced to sin in my life and incorrect values and how much is just part of the curse that humanity bears. Since this world is fallen and broken, it stands to reason that desiring something that is not broken would cause pain even if the sufferer had only pure intentions. Not that I think my intentions are always pure. But I wonder how much suffering and pain is inevitable?

Tennyson said:

‘Tis better to have loved and lost

Than never to have loved at all.

I guess I’ll be able to form my own opinion on the matter.

So I wonder, is it better to catch a glimpse and be made aware of a void, or is it better to just be unaware? Does living a full life mean being vulnerable and realizing how much pain and brokenness is in the world? Do we live better lives when we have experienced pain? How much contentment is healthy?

I remember the words I used to hear from my parents at times when I would complain about things as a child. “Ben, sometimes life isn’t fair.”

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1 Comment

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One response to “A Glimpse of More

  1. Matt

    I like what Chesterton said about this topic in “Orthodoxy”
    “We do not want joy and anger to neutralize each other and produce a
    surly contentment; we want a fiercer delight and a fiercer discontent.”
    and a bit longer one
    “No one doubts that an ordinary man can get on with this world:
    but we demand not strength enough to get on with it, but strength
    enough to get it on. Can he hate it enough to change it,
    and yet love it enough to think it worth changing? Can he look
    up at its colossal good without once feeling acquiescence?
    Can he look up at its colossal evil without once feeling despair?
    Can he, in short, be at once not only a pessimist and an optimist,
    but a fanatical pessimist and a fanatical optimist? Is he enough of a
    pagan to die for the world, and enough of a Christian to die to it?
    In this combination, I maintain, it is the rational optimist who fails,
    the irrational optimist who succeeds. He is ready to smash the whole
    universe for the sake of itself.”

    I think that The Kingdom of God as we dwell in it now in a state of beautiful and expectant tension. As we see the wrongness of the world more clearly we understand the depth of His love for us better and we feel the value of His great gift with more clarity.

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