***(Please DO NOT read the following as depressive- it’s not. I enjoy life but it’s brutally honest…)***There are two problems with ‘Earthly goodness’.
- Enjoying it only goes so far but no (even idea) of enjoyment/happiness feels significant enough as a final goal when…
- Evil and even apathy seem more potent forces than the enjoyment of good. Enjoyment is ‘nice’ but no degree of it would make up for being, say, skinned alive (evil) and no degree seems meaningful or significant enough as a goal to truly shake free from a certain degree of thinking ‘for what it’s truly worth…’ One has to ‘try to care’ and find meaning sometimes rather than ‘helplessly caring and unable to NOT find enough meaning’. And one can, out of laziness, feel sick of trying. Easier not to be optimistic.
We love the World and many things in it are so loved we do not wish to loose them. Yet none of the Worldly goods (as we have them now) are sufficient to calm our aching desires and the funny thing is, even contemplation of a goodness potent enough seems impossible.
Now I know all about ideas of ‘imortal longings’ that CS Lewis, saints and Aquinas spoke of (I’ve banged on about them enough on this site, for one. this is not one of those questions). BUT does the Bible prove, in any shape or form, that goodness, meaning and enjoyment are potent enough for all?..I do not trust in the opinions of writers who cannot back up their claims…
What if, at least some of us, never find the goodness other people might feel content with, perfect enough? Maybe enjoyment IS a flawed goal and can never fully satisfy us because enjoying isn’t a perfect thing by it’s very nature…
Let me give an example. I’m an artist who loves many beautiful things, like statues. Now, if I gain what I desire (a statue) what of it? I just look at it? The love’s still there but what is the perfect result…(the statue ISN’T me nor would it please me if it was) and I can’t recieve love from it (it isn’t a pleasure in the same way romantic love is)…it seems an entirely pointless, aimless (though very real) love. You just stand about looking which hardly measures up to the degree of desire one originally found in its beauty. And, as a collector, one would move from purchase to purchase of statues, NEVER to find what would be the perfect fix because it doesn’t exist.
Now, aren’t most of our loves REAL but like this? Genuine in their adoration but tragically aimless?
How can we trust, being as we can’t picture it, that our enjoyment of goodness can overcome this severe obstical? It’s all very well to speak of infinite joy but if joy is a flawed thing, infinite or nay, it’s less than perfect.
Pain’s horrible but (credit when credit’s due) it is thorough- when it occassionally comes it does not lack bite…it isn’t easy to dismantle via enjoyment. You have to forebair and it decides to leave eventually. Meanwhile, not that I’d advice it, but you could easily ruin a lovely day…enjoyment does not seem as imovable when it’s there. I’m happy now but, like most people who are happy, one is weary of the shark beneath the water and hopeful he doesn’t decide to rise.
One thought I had is, of course, God is omnipotent so He can rise the level of enjoyment we have to any degree (when we are redeemed). HOWEVER would an even infinite level of joy be good enough or is it a flawed thing in its very nature (in which case no degree would be good enough)?
Hope this all makes sense.
AND YES IT IS A DIFFERENT QUESTION TO MY PREVIOUS THOUSAND OR SO- they were all about the ‘possibility’ of endless joy in Heaven. This isn’t. We’ve sroted that (if there’s a Heaven then, yes, its joy would be infinite).This is about whether joy is a worthwhile goal at all. So do not loose patience friends- though it must be sorely tempting as I do often appear to go around in circles! But no, ever forwards and onwards- ever further and faster!