Have you ever had one of those moments as you were reading or listening to a speaker and something was said that touched you? I don't mean in a an emotional way. I mean in a way that something inside you absorbed the statement life a parched plant absorbs water. A moment in which you can't help but utter an audible "ahhh", signaling a thirst quenched, a filling of some sort.
I do get those moments. Typically they happen when I have set aside time to read or listen to someone online. This morning one such moment filled me as I was reading. In the midst of this book, I came across a quote from CS Lewis (an author whose writings seem to inspire many such moments.) The quote was this: Love by definition seeks to enjoy its object.
Three words struck me in this statement. First, enjoy. In Lewis' Reflections on the Psalms he provides a fantastic chapter on praise where he links praise with the enjoyment of the object being praised. For instance if I really enjoy a particular book/song/movie, I will praise it to you (what a beautiful song/book/movie/etc.) and possibly invite you to enjoy it with me ( you have got to see this!). He then goes on to apply that to the way we praise God. So, enjoyment and praise are linked.
Second, love. Love is a word that seems to be used in so many different ways. I say I love my wife, but I also say that I love The Simpsons. Both statements are true, but the love referred to in each statement is extremely different. Yet both statements refer to things which I enjoy. I enjoy the company of my wife: her laughter and playful silliness, her resilience and discipline, her wisdom and patience...the list could go on. Yet I also, enjoy The Simpsons - the multi-layered humor, the poking fun at various instituions, the pop-culture references. While my love for my wife is much greater than for the Simpsons, I thouroughly enjoy both.
Finally, object. The oft quoted John 3:16 starts out - "For God so loved the world..." God loves the world. If we apply Lewis' description of love here - God enjoys his creation. I am sure there are many things about fallen creation that God does not enjoy, yet the thought that God might enjoy you and me despite our bent towards sin is a pretty powerful idea.
Another powerful idea (one that may have been obvious to you at the start - I'm a little slow soemtimes) is that my praise of God is not some disconnected and cold litany of utterings that I say because I am trying to appease a cold and distant God. Rather my praise comes because we are wired to be a part of something bigger than ourselves; we are wired to be in relationship with God. And when we seek that, no matter how imperfectly, we connect to that for which we were created. Therefore in relationship with God, I praise him because of the things in him that I enjoy, things we were meant to enjoy - Creation, love, justice, mercy, presence...the list could go on.
All of this from one thirst-quenching phrase from C.S. Lewis.
I would like to end with a quote from Psalms as a blessings and encouragement - "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will grant you the desires of your heart." For if we are delighting in God, then our desires are him - and they have been granted.
What are your thirst-quenching moments? Any thoughts in response to this one?