Love Christ and put nothing before his love. Christ is everything. He is the source of life, the ultimate desire, he is everything. Everything beautiful is in Christ. - Father Porphyrios
Do I believe this? I want to. Scripture affirms the statement. But the world I live in each day mocks and dismisses such thinking. Key words: love, everything, life, desire, everything, beauty. He promises me love, life, beauty, and fulfillment of my deepest desires in Him. The world promises the same things, but insists on being able to define those things for us.
- The love the world gives us is artificial, sadly dependent on circumstances and the sincerity of the people who give it.
- The life the world gives us is limited and eventually runs out, leaving us with discomfort, loneliness and physical deterioration.
- Our desires for the things of the world are fleeting, unpredictable, often thwarted, and characterized by the law of diminishing returns.
- The beauty that the world offers is showy, skin deep, fickle, subjective, misleading, and constantly changing.
The world promises that we can have it all. In reality, we each get only a little bit of the pie, and even that does not satisfy our deepest longings.
We truly spend a lot of our waking hours pursuing love, life, desires and fulfillment in this world. Why do we do it? What reward are we looking for? We are such earthbound creatures. We can't imagine what we cannot see, and yet Christ came to us and taught us to look toward that which is unseen to fulfill all our human desires - the kingdom of God. Our comprehension of love, life and beauty are so limited by what this world has to offer. And Satan would love to keep us in the dark in such matters of the heart. We carry the kingdom of God in our hearts, but our senses continue to search for it in the world around us. Call me a mystic, but I am thinking that the reason we struggle so much in this area is that we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to fill ourselves with the world around us and too little time in the kingdom inside of us. I Cor. 3:16 - "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" We don't have to sit in a church to spend time in the kingdom of God. We just need a chair, a quiet spot, and the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. How marvelous, how incredible, how incomprehensible it is that God has given us all that we need to be transported into his very presence at any moment. We just need to practice carrying our heart before him, asking for his mercy and cleansing, and then humbly receiving his love, his life, his eternal beauty. He will fill our hearts to overflowing. He is generous, loving and kind. He longs to pour his blessings upon us and gather us in his arms. Oh, my soul, why do you stray from the Good Shepherd every day? Lord, train us to hear your voice more clearly in the midst of the roar of the world.