Easter: A Celebration of God’s Self-Giving Love and Beauty!
Are there ever moments in your life when your desire feels ravenous?
Moments when you are just never satisfied, always longing for, wanting, or craving bigger, better, more?
We can all probably agree, at least on some level, that many of our decisions related to how we spend our time and where we spend our money are birthed from implicit desires regarding what we think is best for us at that moment!
Further, it could be said that many of our daydreams are lost somewhere within the realm of desire; particularly desires that are left unfulfilled.
Asking Myself “Why” Rather Than “What”
It’s rare that I find myself pausing to discover or explore the unspoken hopes, dreams, and wishes which lurk just beneath my desires.
To put it another way, it’s seldom that I ask myself,
“Why do I desire the things that I desire?”
Or, yet another way,
“What’s the end of my desires?
“Where are they (my desires) taking me?”
What if my desire – unending and ever-present – has an aim, target, or end?
What if the target of my desire(s) was something more than pleasure, happiness, momentary satisfaction, etc.?
Or, what if, somewhere beneath the surface of all my desire-driven-decisions to have more, go bigger, and be better, there lurks deeper, one might say otherworldly, longings?
What if every desire ultimately pointed to God?
In other words, what if all my cravings for community, achievement, belonging and excellence were steeped in a pervasive but under-the-radar desire for a meaningful, lasting relationship with God?
While such questions rarely receive attention these days, in previous ages questions such as these have been the ones asked by the worlds, princes, actors, poets, and philosophers!
Socrates himself once said, “Oh that someone would arise, man or god, to show us God.”
Plato, a student of Socrates, said, “Unless a god man comes to us and reveals to us the Supreme Being, there is no help or hope.”
I wonder, when did my desire last burn for God and His goodness?
How My Loves Drive My Heart
When was the last moment my heart stirred similarly to Socrates’ or Plato’s?
Why do I so often settle for less than my heart’s most profound and most genuine desires?
The truth is, once we admit the existence of desire not easily satisfied, we would be hard-pressed to find ourselves sharing it around water coolers, cubicles, and classrooms.
Imagine the following scenario:
You are seated with good friends at a favorite restaurant you often frequent. The evening has been planned for weeks. You have known what you will order hours, even days before you sit down to dine.
We Are All Guests At Someone’s Table!
As you gather at the table, you and your guests become lost in the moment.
You are drinking in the joy around the table.
Joy wrapped around a visceral experience of things like:
- The aroma,
- The atmosphere around you,
- The attention you give to and receive from your guest.
Here you sit with your friends as you enjoy good food, great drink, and care-free companions.
Then you see yourself rise and, as you lift your glass of wine or pint of beer, proclaim by way of toasting your good fortune:
“It doesn’t get any better than this.”
Then, at the moment you begin to relish in your good fortune, one of your friends shockingly says something like the following:
“The food and drink are wonderful. The company and environment are splendid. Oh how this reminds me of my longing and desire for God.”
You think to yourself.
When I Cannot See the What the Moment Really Offers
Your dreamy-eyed-moment-to-remember becomes a shock-and-awe memory you hope to one day forget.
Solely for the fact that such a statement is audacious, utter nonsense.
Even, unfortunately, for we who believe.
Why is such a statement shocking?
Because we don’t believe that God cares about or is into our desires.
We don’t believe that God is a God of self-giving love and beauty.
By the phrase God of self-giving love and beauty I mean to assert that it is the very nature of God to be self – giving. To abundantly, of His internal free-will, put the beauty of His presence on display within the realm of this world He has made.
I further mean to assert that as we awaken to His self-giving nature, we, in turn, experience an ever-increasing joy within the moment-by-moment and day-by-day life we call our own!
Misconceptions Lead to Maladjustments
This understanding of God, then I repeat, contradicts two unwritten but quite real impressions we have of Him:
- He rarely reveals Himself to us, and when He does, it’s often not what one calls beauty, but disgust.
- He doesn’t want us to enjoy Him and His presence as much as He wants us to fear Him, obey Him and behave.
I know. You don’t put it that way. But be honest with me, here.
You believe God is far more into showing you what’s wrong with yourself and the world than He is into revealing His beauty and joy through the world.
But, What if God were a God of self-giving love and beauty and ever-increasing joy?
What if, in fact, He longs to reveal our deepest desires through the ordinary work-a-day world in which we live?
Desire Unexplored Leads to Cravings Unfulfilled
What if desire partially satisfied through activities such as carefully prepared food, enjoyable company, and well-crafted leisure, reveals more profound yearning? Perhaps even a primordial longing lodged deep within our soul?
A yearning often stirred, rarely explored.
What if God – this God of self-giving love and beauty and ever-increasing joy – even promises to fulfill these desires?
As you enter Easter week, I encourage you to imagine how the Kingdom of God in Christ and the glorious cross and resurrection serves as the clarion call that the final act is now begun.
It’s an act that ends with the fulfillment of every desire ever known!.
What if . . .
Disrupting to Renew!