Tuesday, April 07, 2009

“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


Mel said...

So, this raises questions in my mind... And ties in to something I read in the book "Story." There's a reason that stories end in "And they lived happily ever after..." Because when there's nothing to conquer, and no battle left to fight, and nothing left to discover... There's no more story. So what about Heaven? If there is so much joy and fulfillment in the seeking of truth and the fight for all things just and good, my guess is that there will be elements of all of those things in Heaven still. I don't believe the story will end in Heaven, but in actuality will only be just beginning. :) Great Post!!

FCB said...

Hi Mel,
great point, I think you have to be right; I have thougth along those lines as well. I wonder about struggle, how does one have the satisfaction of overcoming an obstacle if they are all removed?
Will we not melt into our beds after arduous labor and enjoy the feeling of refreshment that comes from sleep?
Now I can definitely see going to seminars to discover how the Lord designed the eye or brain, what the inspiration for our emotions was etc. So lots of learning to be done, maybe an infinite amount.
Fun to think about.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred :)

While it is important that we seek God and live according to His will, it doesn't mean that we should not compete in this world with others for acquiring wealth or the comforts. As long as we do this with honesty and without hurting any one, we are serving God and His Will. We have to find happiness in this earth not by misusing our talents but using them well in promoting our interests. God has given us the ability to think and choose between good and bad. Very often bad things give us instant gratification and we take the easy way out. This is the crux of the problem.

I will definitely not approve my son spending my hard earned money. He should earn it and spend it. I provide all basic facilities and comfort and education to stand on his own legs but he has to find his way of independent living unless he is mentally or physically handicapped in which case I have no alternative but to support him as long as I live and perhaps provide for him even after my death.

Your posts are always thought provoking and makes me think. I may be right or wrong. I have taken liberties with you many times and you have put up with me very kindly and graciously. Many, many thanks. I always think you have a forum wherein I can think freely without fear.

Happy Easter to you and your family :)