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Bishop Lalachan Abraham
RAVI ZACHARIAS: SYMBOLS OF THE PURSUIT OF GOD
2 Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ."
Ravi Zacharias said: "The pursuit of the Hebrews was idealized and symbolized by light. 'The Lord is my light and my salvation.' 'The people that sat in darkness have seen a great light.' 'This is the light that lighteth every man that comes into the world.'
"The pursuit of the Greeks was symbolized by knowledge. That’s why the Biblical writers say, 'These things are written that you might know that you have eternal life.' For the Hebrews, it was light. For the Greeks, it was knowledge.
"For the Romans, it was glory. The apostle Paul, a Hebrew by birth, a citizen of Rome, living in a Greek city, had to give to them the ideal of his ethic. And he says this: 'God, who caused the light to shine out of darkness, has caused His light to shine in our hearts, to give to us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus our Lord.'
"For the apostle Paul, the ultimate ethic was not an abstraction, not symbolized merely by light, not merely by knowledge, not merely by glory, but in the very face of our Lord.
"Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervours, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills."
John Brown, Nineteenth-century Scottish theologian, quoted in J. Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, p. 51.
"Too often for us it is ’to live is Christ, plus other pursuits (work, leisure, accumulating wealth, relationships, etc.). And if the truth were known, all too often the ’plus factor’ has become our primary passion."
PLEASURE COMES FROM PAIN
The world's best cyclist, Lance Armstrong, says this about pain:
I become a happier man each time I suffer.
Suffering is as essential to a good life, and as inextricable, as bliss. The old saying that you should live each day as if it’s your last is a nice sentiment, but it doesn’t work. Take it from me. I tried it once, and here’s what I learned: If I pursued only happiness, and lived just for the moment, I’d be a no-account with a perpetual three-day growth on my chin. Cancer taught me that.
Before cancer, whatever I imagined happiness to be, pretty soon I wore it out, took it for granted, or threw it away. A portfolio, a Porsche, a coffee machine--these things were important to me. So was my hair. Then I lost them, including the hair. When I was 25, I was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer, which had metastasized into my lungs and brain. I sold the car, gave up my career as a world-class cyclist, lost a good deal of money, and barely hung on to my life.
When I went into remission, I thought happiness would mean being self-indulgent. Not knowing how much time I had left, I did not intend to ever suffer again. I had suffered months of fear, chemotherapy so strong it left burn marks under my skin, and surgery to remove two tumors. Happiness to me then was waking up.
I ate Mexican food, played golf, and lay on the couch. The pursuit of happiness meant going to my favorite restaurant and pursuing a plate of enchiladas with tomatillo sauce.
But one day my wife, Kristin, put down her fork and said, "You need to decide something: Are you going to be a golf-playing, beer-drinking, Mexican-food-eating slob for the rest of your life? If you are, I’ll still love you. But I need to know, because if so, I’ll go get a job. I’m not going to sit at home while you play golf."
I stared at her.
"I’m so bored," she said.
Suddenly, I understood that I was bored, too. The idleness was forced; I was purposeless, with nothing to pursue. That conversation changed everything. I realized that responsibility, the routines and habits of shaving in the morning with a purpose, a job to do, a wife to love, and a child to raise--these were the things that tied my days together and gave them a pattern deserving of the term living.
Within days I was back on my bicycle. For the first time in my life, I rode with real strength and stamina and purpose. Without cancer, I never would have won a single Tour de France. Cancer taught me a plan for more purposeful living, and that in turn taught me how to train and to win more purposefully. It taught me that pain has a reason, and that sometimes the experience of losing things--whether health or a car or an old sense of self--has its own value in the scheme of life. Pain and loss are great enhancers.
People ask me why I ride my bike for six hours a day; what is the pleasure? The answer is that I don’t do it for the pleasure. I do it fo...
“…wickedness, when you examine it, turns out to be the pursuit of some good in the wrong way. You can be good for the mere sake of goodness: you cannot be bad for the mere sake of badness. You can do a kind action when you are not feeling kind and when it gives you no pleasure, simply because kindness is right; but no one ever did a cruel action simply because cruelty is wrong – only because cruelty was pleasant or useful to him … Goodness is, so to speak, itself: badness is only spoiled goodness. And there must be something good first before it can be spoiled.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 49.
"Curiosity in children is but an appetite for knowledge. One great reason why children abandon themselves wholly to silly pursuits and trifle their time away insipidly is because they find their curiosity balked, and their inquiries neglected."
Even our foundational beliefs in this country see the “pursuit of happiness” as a basic right of all individuals. Yet with all our pursuit, happiness seems to elude many of us for much of our lives. Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” Reverend Ray Inman said, “Happiness, like an old friend, is inclined to drop in unexpectedly—when you’re working hard on something else.”
“Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is his method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort. The rest Christ offers is the rest of meekness, the blessed relief which comes when we accept ourselves for what we are and cease to pretend. It will take some courage at first, but the needed grace will come...
The first glimmers that excluding design artificially restricts science come from admissions by scientists opposed to design. The arch-Darwinist Richard Dawkins begins his book The Blind Watchmaker by stating, "Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose." Statements like this echo throughout the biological literature. In What Mad Pursuit, Francis Crick, Nobel laureate and co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, writes, "Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved."
Quotation from Intelligent Design by William A. Dembski, 125
…happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to “be happy.” Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically. As we see a human being is not one in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason to be happy.
Victor Frankl quoted by Laura Schlessinger, The Ten Commandments: The Significance of God’s Laws in Everyday Life, p. 48