Brightly colored eggs were strewn all over Roosevelt Park this past Saturday, April 20, morning. A balloon artist, bouncy obstacles, face painting, a puppet show and a craft table of bracelets made with Cheerios were all part of the White Fields Community Church’s Easter Egg Hunt and Festival. (WFCC) Head Pastor Nick Cady of WFCC…
“If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and to earnestly hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I suggest that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around 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.”
I love this quote from CS Lewis’ The Weight of Glory. Unfortunately, usually only the second half of it is quoted. I think the first part is perhaps even more important than the second, where Lewis states that the assumption that true spirituality consists of depriving oneself or pleasure, or that to seek pleasure is unspiritual, is not a Christian teaching, but comes from Kant and the Stoics.
I would add to Lewis’ comment that this is also rooted in Plato-an thinking, which holds the physical to be inherently bad and the ethereal to be good. Plato-an philosophy was also at the root of one of the first great heresies in the church – Gnosticism, and the lingering effects of this are still present in much thinking amongst Christians as to what makes one truly spiritual.
True spirituality is not found in depriving oneself of pleasure, but in walking in step with the Spirit of God to the point where your pleasures are re-aligned – properly aligned with the heart of God.
“Christianity teaches the infinite worth of that which is seemingly worthless and the infinite worthlessness of that which is seemingly so valued.”
I came across this quote from Dietrich Bonhöffer listening to the audio book of Eric Metaxas’ book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. – (which is actually available for free if you sign up for a new account with Audible!)
“Most Americans lead very busy and very undisciplined lives”
– Jim Collins, ‘Good to Great’
This quote rings true to me of people I know and oftentimes, sadly of myself.
Discipline in all areas of my life is something I have been trying to cultivate more and more. I’ve always been concerned about discipline, but for this season in my life it is one of my main focuses.
What I’ve found is that when I am more disciplined, I am happier, more content, and more focused. The areas I’ve been focusing on in this quest for greater disciple are: Spiritual, Physical (working out), Financial, and Familial (dedicating time with my family and not allowing distractions).
Thing is, that we live in a very “noisy” world. Mobile phones constantly blink and buzz, asking for our attention, for ‘just a second’. What I’ve found is, the more disciplined I am with every area of my life – giving myself boundaries and holding to them – the less time I end up running around ‘fighting fires’, and the more I am able to be fruitful in the areas where God has called me to be.
All of us are stewards of the resources we’ve been given by the Lord. May we be found to be good stewards of everything he’s given us – investing them and multiplying them for his glory and for the good of others.
I’m on a journey, seeking to be more disciplined with everything God has given me.