Friday, July 9, 2010
Blog # 40 Desire
Blog # 40 DESIRE 4:00 a. m. is early in the morning, right? Ordinarily a boy fifteen is still in bed. But one morning years ago in Arkansas where I lived at the time a boy I knew was up and on a bus at 4:oo a.m. on one particular Saturday morning. The bus was heading west to a town about a hundred and twenty miles from home. This was his deal: he had come in first in a regional competition in trumpet playing and was heading to a State competition. I was with him at his home the evening before. He was eager to go. There were no complaints about four o'clock being too early, no down beats for the whole experience. Why so? I think the answer lies in awareness and motivation. He knows trumpet and he wants it. Similar psychological dynamics are present and play a part in other areas of our life as well. We seek and affirm what we know as valuable and good. If I can't play the trumpet it is no fun. If I can it is a joy. So it is with God and the Church. To know God is to love God, and to love Him is to give ourselves to Him, freely and joyfully. Though some find it easier than others, no one plays the trumpet without training and practice. So it is with discovering God, in Himself, in creation, and in one another. Unless we know God and His presence and goodness is real and attractive to us, whatever we might do, by force of commands, through fear custom or social pressure, will be dry and dead, superficial and a burden. It is like the experience of a child who practices the trumpet by force of a parent's command and desire rather than his or her own. Knowing God as lovable, whatever we do for God is a joy. Four o'clock in the morning isn't that early if you really want to play the trumpet in Arkadelphia by nine! Living by the commandments is not that difficult if we know God and want to live in such a way that our lives are pleasing to God and worthy of His love.