Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Published 8:13 AM by with 0 comment


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.


The Christian says, 'Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.

Every once in a while I feel that life, for one moment, is so sweet that I could not wish for anything more. Then in the next second the delight loses its edge as "but" and "what if" creep in.

Life is bittersweet at best.

Right now, even as I enjoy the blessings of a home and beautiful family and food in my belly and air conditioning and no persecution and quiet neighborhood and classical music playing and more Things than I could ask for, I still have desires.

I desire to be a far better mandolin player than I am. This is a really big desire right now, as I struggle with feeling like a completely inadequate musician: I can't improvise to save my life, have a hard time strumming, and can still barely use a pick. Yet the intense desire to become a better mandolinist is there because I love bluegrass, folk, and Irish music so much that I want to actually be able to play them myself instead of just listen to others play them. So I desire both the ability to play a secondary instrument and more enjoyment in fully immersing myself in the music, despite the fact that I can already find pleasure in listening to the mandolin. Partial fulfillment is not enough. There is more to desire.

I desire to be more passionate about God.

I desire to have patience with myself and my daughter.

I desire the presence of those I love who are far away.

I desire to not worry about our finances constantly.

What is the solution to desire?

Contentedness. Gratitude as well. Fulfillment, in some cases. Perspective. And maybe a healthy dose of living in the moment, savoring the drops of sweetness as they come.

Weaving words along with everyone else inspired by Write Alm's July Prompt-a-Day.

Quotes by C.S. Lewis.