Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Give Me Pleasure Or Give Me Death

In chapter 4 of The Slumber of Christianity author Ted Dekker continues with recounting his life story and his descent and climb out of slumber. It is a very interesting story and one I can’t do justice in retelling. Needless to say it describes, what I think many of us have experienced, that the things we look to give us happiness and satisfaction continually leave us disappointed.

Dekker makes this observation:
“By this point in my life I had been through enough soul-searching and people watching to uncover an ugly truth: the more success humans find, the less happy they tend to be. And I knew why as well. Once the dream filled you with hope, and this hope drove you with enough energy to frighten those around you. Then you achieved the dream. And you discovered that the dream did not satisfy. So you pursued another dream, and achieved that dream, but it failed to give you any lasting happiness as well.

“It doesn’t take long to start running out of dreams. How big of a church do you need to build before it is a truly successful church? How large of a business sale constitutes a truly successful transaction? How big of a house, long vacation, large bank account? How much wine? So many dreams are achievable, yet none satisfy. This is a horrific realization that the young people can’t comprehend because it has to be experienced to be appreciated.” (pp. 50-51)

It is tough to come to that realization that we are just not going to find that satisfaction we long for here on earth. Success, money, and making our dreams come true offer a taste of happiness, but they never last long enough to give us the life we long to enjoy.

In summarizing his life’s search Dekker writes:
“My search for happiness has led me to the secret I now share with you. Life is about heaven. It is about ecstasy and great pleasure, for God is both of these. They can’t truly be found here, on earth. Knowing this, Jesus sent his Comforter to ease the path between this life and the next. Among the greatest gifts offered by the Holy Spirit is hope, because without hope for the time when both ecstasy and pleasure can be found completely in God, there can be no happiness.

“Ironically, once our eyes are opened to the riches of our inheritance, the blessings of this life become far richer. The colors brighter, the orders more pungent, the fabrics more textured, the fruits sweeter, the music more wondrous. It is by fixing our eyes on the light of eternity that we see clearly the pleasures of this life.” (pp. 61-62)

The more we hope for heaven the more life here on earth comes alive. What a thought to ponder!

Find the other chapters:
Chapter 1: The Death of our Dreams
Chapter 2: The Search for Pleasure
Chapter 3: Foundations
Chapter 5: The Slippery Slope to Slumber
Chapter 6: In Living We Die; In Dying We Live
Chapter 7: Created to Obsess
Chapter 8: The Eyes of the Heart part 1
Chapter 8: The Eyes of the Heart part 2

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