Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of God

I'VE ALWAYS LAUGHED at the idea of people not knowing what they want. I have known of this since a fairly young age. Sure, people want to be happy, but what is it that will make them happy? Henry Thoreau likened happiness to a butterfly saying "the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder." What Thoreau did not know is that he was almost two thousand years behind on this concept. Thoreau simply summed up our Lord's emphasis on whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

C.S. Lewis commenting on happiness said that "God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing." God knows we are unable to be happy without Him, which is precisely why He emphasized seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

It's simple really, and it is actually about patience. Gone for now, is a lot like gone for good. It is our own stubborn and impatient ways that make us unhappy. Are we willing to accept delayed gratification? I mean that in both the micro and the macro sense. Would we rather accept a little happy now, or the better plan God has for us for when He deems us ready? Are we unwilling to sacrifice this temporal life for the sake of eternal paradise? The choice is obvious, but unfortunately it is a tough one.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Greenhouse

AS A YOUTH, I had the most difficult time understanding that plants were alive. As a young adult, I now understand that not only are they alive, but they are very similar to us as human beings. Aside from the obvious biological similarities, which is such that plants need food, water, and air just as we humans do, I was reminded this week of an amazing analogy by His Grace Bishop Angelos. His Grace analogized our intimate relationships with a plant that is grown out of season. It is well understood that a plant cannot grow out of season, it will simply wither and die. But if a plant is out of season, it can safeguarded and sustained in a greenhouse until it is ready to grow and bear fruits.

Plants are beautiful, but are very delicate. In the ignorance of my youth, I would wonder why people put so much time in effort into something so volatile, something that, on paper, held no constructive value (referring to plants of course). But I realized, that some things simply cannot be quantified. They just are. The reward is always worth the struggle. "There is a time and a place for everything" my mother would always say, but now the old adage doesn't only refer to me playing basketball to avoid homework.