“The lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.” Khalil Gibran
I heard this quote on my way in to the office this morning, and was stunned. And I believe it was no accident that I heard it. So much of my life has been spent securing comfort in this world… an “eternity on earth” of sorts. I mentioned in my last post my fear of being exposed as an imposter. That fear is driven by a deeper fear that I’ll lose my little “kingdom” I’m building, and I’ll have my little comforts taken away from me. Those comforts I long… no, that I lust for. And as Mr. Gibran states, my soul’s passions having been murdered by my lusts, they now lie in state while the lust simply grins as I mourn over what I’ve lost.
This can’t be how life is supposed to be lived. What is the antidote to this vicious disease of lusting for comfort? John Piper, sheds some like in his wonderful message on Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, comparing our lives to the solar system [emphasis mine]:
So it is with the supremacy of Christ in your life. All the planets of your life—your sexuality and desires, your commitments and beliefs, your aspirations and dreams, your attitudes and convictions, your habits and disciplines, your solitude and relationships, your labor and leisure, your thinking and feeling—all the planets of your life are held in orbit by the greatness and gravity and blazing brightness of the supremacy of Jesus Christ at the center of your life. And if he ceases to be the bright, blazing, satisfying beauty at the center of your life, the planets will fly into confusion, and a hundred things will be out of control, and sooner or later they will crash into destruction.
Jesus Christ encountered a very confident and wealthy man, who desired something he thought Jesus could give him.
16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
I’m that man. I’m the guy who is looking at my treasures sadly because of what I think I’ll lose. I’m the guy that lives my life as though my planets are held up by me, all the while missing the strong gravitational pull of the Son Jesus Christ, whose blazing glory and brightness of His supremacy is constantly pulling at me to become the most beautiful part of my life. I’ve been that guy for so long. But no longer. Like the parable of the treasure hidden in the field (Matthew 13:44-46), the antidote to the viral spread of discontentment and fear in my life is to treasure Christ for all he is worth. It is to find supreme satisfaction in the glory and treasure of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, my Savior.
What do you treasure today? What do the planets of your life revolve around? To paraphrase Joshua in the Old Testament, as for me and my house, we will put Christ at the center of our solar system, and live with joy that His pull is so strong!