“If my son,” said a wealthy man, whose wasteful heir was fast dissipating the fruits of his exertions, “can take as much pleasure in spending my property as I have derived from acquiring it, I will not complain.”
Lessing declared that if he had been offered the choice between the possession of truth and the pleasure of seeking for it, he would unhesitatingly have preferred the latter. A state of constant fruition would be, according to our present notions, a state truly lamentable, since it would preclude, in a great degree, the pleasing emotions that spring from hope and expectation, and thus extinguish the lights that principally serve to cheer our path through life. Were all our desires satiated at their birth, or were we always satisfied with our present condition, in either case, as there would be nothing to draw forth our active energies, life would stagnate.
In short, man was made for action, and life is a mere scene for the exercise of the mind and the engagements of the heart…..”
I like this little piece from a book titled “Getting On In The World” by William Mathews, LL.D.,
I have posted part of it before, but the longer I live the more I realize that happiness can not be sought, but it is a by-product of a well lived life. And if we pursue pleasure in abundance we find it always out of our reach.
None the less it appears to me that God knitted in us a continual reaching and a hope for something better. I see how useful this is and expectation is pleasing, like the author said. If the goals are for the betterment of man, we avoid harm and reap reward; if the goals are self-centered, we end with what the poet has said of woman, --
“The lovely toy, so fiercely sought,
Hath lost its charm by being caught.”
Painting by Christensen - The rich young ruler