Faith seeking understanding #016: On choosing to enjoy the journey

Faith seeking understanding, my personal journey towards a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with God, the cosmos, humanity and myself through thoughts, words and (occasionally) images, is a series of [hopefully] daily reflections I’m writing with the purpose of publishing something on a regular basis for others to read, either here, at joncarllewis.com or among my writings at Medium.com.

I have no idea who or what this thing is but it seems to be enjoying itself.
Photo by Mark Daynes on Unsplash.

I actually enjoy writing. It’s hard to admit. I’d like to say I write because I have to, because I have no other choice. But the truth of the matter is that I write because it brings me pleasure.

There is a certain, distinct sense of satisfaction I derive from spilling cyberink onscreen and seeing that cyberink form itself into words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, making arguments, sensible and otherwise, baring my soul…

Sometimes I keep myself from writing because I’m afraid I will enjoy it too much, that I will slip into a quasi-fantasy which will be for me like a drug, like an addiction, and create a safe, warm, pleasant bubble in my mind I don’t want to leave.

But, so what?

So what if I do slip into an alternate reality for a while? There is valuable stuff to be learned in that alternate reality, pleasurable or not.

Just because I like something doesn’t mean I should avoid doing it.

You see, along the way, early in my childhood, perhaps, I picked up the Protestant work ethic created by the Calvinists. To the Calvinist mindset, prosperity was a sign of God’s favor—and prosperity came about through hard work and a shunning of pleasure. I believe this to be a fundamentally harmful philosophy, but that doesn’t stop my subconscious from holding onto these ideas as if my survival depended on it. Quite the contrary: I see now that letting go of that ethic is the only way to save myself from burnout, from depression, from despair.

Life can be good, at times. Life can be pleasant at times. And for those of us who were taught to forego the pleasures of the moment for an eternal reward, it is sometimes necessary to realize that in the goodness and the pleasure of the moment one can often find God waiting for us there. Although there are those who preach a distant and angry God, there are others whose God is near, and approachable and loving.

If faith is necessary to believe in God, I have a much easier time putting my trust in the approachable God, the one who draws near to humankind and takes on flesh to dwell among us.

So that is the story I will tell. That is the story it will be my pleasure to write.

And, so, I will acknowledge those old voices which would wag their fingers at the joys of the moment. I will even thank them for having been my companions for so long. And I will choose to go a different way.

Because the rest of this journey is precious.

And I intend to enjoy as much of it as I can.

Thank you for your time and attention.
I’d love to know your thoughts on what you’ve read.
Please comment, below, or email me at joncarllewis@gmail.com.
May God richly bless you on your journey.

Faith seeking understanding #016: On choosing to enjoy the journey

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