“We are the redeemed.”
“God loves us with an everlasting love.”
“The Holy Spirit is our constant companion.”
Did we feel the electricity surging through us as we read those sentences? Did our heart rate go up? Did we get goose bumps? Did our eyes well up with grateful tears? Did any of us spontaneously jump up and do a few (albeit safe) dance moves? Or, in world-weary, too-familiar fashion, was our thinking more along the lines of: “Yeah, I know.”? If we must confess the latter reaction as closer to the truth, we are among the crowds of those impacted by the sly workings of the enemy who does his best to keep the glass we look through dark enough, empty enough, murky enough that we sadly miss the glint and gleam of our beyond-imagining, inherited treasure. It is evidence of the frailty of our human condition (which Jesus fully understood and with which he sympathized) that our response to incredibly good news would be tempered with a tinge of cynicism (if it sounds too good to be true…). To this point, C.S. Lewis painted a powerful word picture for us:
“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.” C.S. Lewis, ‘The Weight of Glory’
I think this is why we can get so incredibly excited for such incredibly short periods of time. The adrenaline rush exhausts us, sending us scampering off in search of less intense emotional spaces. Take the recently celebrated Pentecost event. We attempt to place ourselves in the story but often stop short of truly ‘getting’ it, short of experiencing the arrival of the Holy Spirit in approximately the same way as those first disciples, short of having the reality of His indwelling presence land solidly in our hearts. So, we try to content ourselves with Lewis’ ‘mud pies’ instead.
Fortunately, we don’t have to give up on living wholeheartedly in sync with the Spirit. God’s wooing of us, his beloved children, has not stopped. It hasn’t even weakened! It is an ongoing, passionately driven appeal. If we stop to look up, we will see him standing there, waiting, smiling, beckoning. We’ll turn the lights up a bit tomorrow, 10 AM, 4 PM, 6 PM. See y’all there! PD