Before I saw these things in the Bible, C. S. Lewis snagged me when I wasn’t looking. I was standing in Vroman’s Bookstore on Colorado Avenue in Pasadena, California, in the fall of 1968. I picked up a thin blue copy of Lewis’s book The Weight of Glory. The first page changed my life.
If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit 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 halfhearted creatures, fooling about 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.
Never in my life had I heard anyone say that the problem with the world was not the intensity of our pursuit of happiness, but the weakness of it. Everything in me shouted, Yes! That’s it! There it was in black and white, and to my mind it was totally compelling: The great problem with human beings is that we are far too easily pleased. We don’t seek pleasure with nearly the resolve and passion that we should. And so we settle for mud pies of appetite instead of infinite delight.
The Dangerous Duty of Delight.
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