Thursday, June 26, 2008

Why Do We Like Ice Cream Off the Blacktop?

On Monday my family was in Stillwater enjoying the sunny day, picnicking at the Teddy Bear park, and eating tremendous portions of ice cream at Nelson's Drive Inn Dairy. All my kids received a healthy portion of their choice of ice cream which happened to be rainbow sherbet. As I was enjoying my gigantic scoop of Snowflake ice cream (white chocolate, macadamian nut, etc.) I did my routine scan to make sure all the kids were properly in their places when to my horror I saw my son Elijah (if you ask him his name its -- ELIJAH JAMES EDWARDS PATZ) stooping on all fours with his tongue licking the blacktop hungrily where ice cream had fallen and melted probably more than an half hour ago. The goofy grin on his face told me that he was enjoying his filthy choice and he, knowing right well that his behavior was not in line with our expectations, took off running when I shouted out his name. Of course, he had plenty of ice cream in his bowl at the picnic table. Oh no, ice cream off the blacktop is more fun and yummy.

This reminds me of C. S. Lewis' famous quote from "The Weight of Glory" when he says that we are too easily pleased if we are not fully pursuing the joy that is in Jesus Christ an
d instead living for material possessions and joys.
We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
Are we not unlike Elijah when we delight more in pizza and dough nuts rather than the One who is the Bread of Life; or when our cup of coffee or espresso, or whatever you like to drink brings greater anticipation to our hearts than talking to or about the Person who is the DRINK who is called the Living Water; or when we enjoy reading the paper, the sports magazine, the mystery novel or email more than the Word of God which offers to bring us into an all-satisfying relationship with our Creator; or when we care more about what is on TV then what's on God's agenda for our evening which might include time talking with our spouse, or reading the Bible, or serving a friend, or sharing the Gospel with your neighbor.

The only thing different is that Elijah pursuit of sour ice cream on the blacktop merely reveals normal childish behavior that needs to be corrected. Our preferences of inferior substitutes for God reveals our sinful hearts that need transformation by God's grace. Thankfully the cross of Christ and the work of the Spirit make maturity possibly.


Katie said...

Wow, you are quite the blogger. I perused through what you've posted lately, and especially enjoyed reading Matt Howard's telling of his conversation with his neighbors about the gospel. He used some illustrations and other ways of explaining the gospel that I've never heard of and thought of before. I praise God for him and hope I can one day be that kind of neighbor.

party of eight said...

I also just "perused" through several of your most recent. I am impressed at the plethora of posts that you have provided. I enjoyed reading them and was also challenged by them. Thank you.