Sunday, August 19, 2007

Christianity & joy

Somewhere along the line, Christianity got a bad rap as being boring, tedious, or otherwise unpleasant. Sort of a "should" thing. E.g., "I'd rather have fun, but I should probably do this."

A more accurate casting of faith & desire/ joy comes from C.S. Lews (The Weight of Glory), when he writes:

"Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."

This raises an interesting question. If true, why do we do it? Why are we too easily pleased?


Knumb said...

I heard Tony Campolo describe the baseline joy of being a Christian. Memories serves, it's something like this.

If you are not a believer, you have your ups and downs, like a Jeep going down a bumpy road at sea level.

When you are a Christian, you have similar ups and downs, but this time, the jeep is going up a mountain road. Pretty soon, your ups are up thousands of feet and your downs are... still up thousands of feet.

I like that better than the analogy of enjoying playing in horsepoop because we can't imagine what it's like to ride a pony.

That having been said, it seems that Lewis was into living life to the fullest, one way or the other. One of my favorite parts of the Screwtape letters is when Screwtape toasts a banquet of demons with the wine of sinners' souls, lamenting that so much of the wine these days was of mediocre, lukewarm sinners, and not the flavorful souls of the truly "great" sinners.

Interesting concepts.

Knumb said...

these days those days grammar blah.