I was happy with things the way they were. Why should I go to any great length to make them any better when, as it were, I was contented with how my car looked and drove? This was my response about a year ago when my wife approached me with an idea. “Why don’t you have some of the dents in your car fixed and, while you’re at it, get it painted as well.”
I had driven the old Corvair for years and paid little attention to the several sizeable dents in its fenders. And, for that matter, paid only slight attention to its faded paint. In some places on the car the undercoating was showing through. I simply had gotten used to the way it looked. And, since the car was fun to drive, dents and paint withstanding, I was content? Why did I need any more joy than I already had. Was it really worth the cost to make substantial changes in a vehicle that I already loved? Nonetheless, after the conversation had come up more than once, I began to look at the car through different eyes. Perhaps my wife was right. Perhaps the old Corvair could use a facelift and a complete paint makeover. Perhaps when all was said and done, the joy that I had driving the car everyday could actually be enhanced if I put a bit more effort into keeping it looking good. Perhaps?
C. S. Lewis writes: “Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” (C.S. Lewis.)
Sometimes we as Christians find ourselves making “mud pies” of our lives and finding contentment in the doing when all along God has fore-ordained that there was something better and far more joyful than this level of minimal contentment that we might find in just going about our daily lives, coping with things as they come along. Coping, day-in and day-out, becomes habitual after a time. Like my old Corvair, we sort of get used to a level of joy that seems good enough for the present time. Besides, making significant changes in a life that is already “self-programmed” to be sufficient can often mean a lot of extra work. When we take stock of many of the things in this life that we feel are “joy-givers”, we might find that many of them pale in comparison to the joy that devotion to Christian living could bring us if only we were inclined to take some of the dents out of our spiritual lives and, perhaps, give them a fresh new coat of paint.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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