THE more we have the less satisfied, generally, we are.
This is a perplexing truth that God uses to show us that things other than his very self are meaningless, futile, but a chasing of the wind, without him front and centre.
So we can see, that life – true life, which is the portent of the Gospel – is not about life at all; not the way we typically see life.
We see life as a lottery to win, a car to acquire, a home to buy, a family to build, and a career to develop, with status to attain. But such meaning for life is never really life, because we never get there. We are never truly satisfied with what we have. There is always something over yonder. The thing attained is always nice for a little while, then there’s a quick departure into a hankering for the next thing.
True life – the life that Jesus came to give and does give when we accede – is not in the acquiring of things. It is in the acquiring of the gift of unrolling salvation as it takes its place in our daily life. This salvation is an acquisition of skilled access – the less want for things, the more want for the things of God.
This is not a ridiculous thing to understand; a lie of a truth, as if there was ever the possibility. This is about a truth that cannot ever fail. It does not fail.
As we approach life with no agenda for ourselves – having died to the self – we receive as life this life that God alone gives. It comes as a miracle, because we cannot have even anticipated we could feel this way, blessed in the holy cognisance of a thing so eternal as not really to make sense to those wedded to this life. It must be experienced to actually be believed, and then still, others will not believe it until they have experienced it for themselves. This is why it might seem like a lie.
But the gospel is paradoxical; it is a holy reversal of the trends of this world.
Our thoughts on life do not agree with God’s thoughts for life. When we jettison the envying, straining, driving, and striving life for the life that God has eternally for us, then we receive this one and only true life, because we have proclaimed death to the feverish, never-to-be-satisfied self.
At our end is God’s new beginning.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.