"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us. Like an ignorant child who wants to go on playing in the mud of a slum because it cannot imagine what is gained in a holiday by the ocean... we are too easily pleased.
C S Lewis.
Isn't it totally wonderful the way life can 'speak', and, remarkably, cause us to hear - not the noise or the fury, the loud and the senseless, but, like Elijah, that still, small voice that presses into the real us and allows us to take note of what's really going on. That's when we can begin to genuinely appreciate the real value of a field like science or art.
Back in the late 1940's in a nation emerging from the bleakness of war, 'Jack' Lewis wrote a gem that makes us ponder some sixty years on.
In The Weight of Glory, he invites us to consider a truth that any honest observer of life needs to recognize:
"We do not merely want to see beauty (though, God knows, even that is bounty enough). We want something else which can hardly be put into words - to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to truly become part of it...
We discern the freshness and purity of the morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see, but all the 'leaves' of the New Testament are rustling before us with the rumour that it will not always be so".
Lewis goes on to define our present experience of the natural (in sense, emotion and imagination) as being like a line drawing on paper compared to the living reality itself, because of the need we share of fulfillment - the completion of our humanity (not a transformation into the angelic or an absorption into the divine). The marvels of creation, inspiration, imagination enthrall us in measure because of what is conveyed to us through them - the scent, savor and touch of a far more substantial reality that these gifts flow from, enticing us to taste, to engage with the God who is there.
That is the joy in truly learning and coming to understand, of 'fellowshipping' and caring for each other. We see the reflection of a truth that underlies our days and whets our inner desire for what lies ahead.
Christ came to open our eyes to the hand extended in the beauty that we see.
Will we become intoxicated by such truth?