Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fighting for Happiness

I'm having the kids at school work their way through Jonathan Edwards' resolutions.

I was particularly struck by this one:

"Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power; might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of. "

I'm not sure what was in Edwards' mind as he wrote this, and perhaps speaking hundreds of years later our language might need to be more careful, but I can't help thinking he was simply bouncing off Jesus' words in Matthew 6.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

There are lots of things we could say about the typical American Christian lifestyle. But I wonder if one of the main things we should say about it is that it is just dumb. Sure, there's a lot that is sinful, there's a lot that is wrong, but bottom line it's all pretty dumb.

I mean, why the mad rush to obtain as much happiness as we can in this world when the happiness we can obtain in this world is so fleeting and so empty? Why the mad rush to store up as many treasures as we can in this world when our time in this world is so short?

1 comment:

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