Monday, April 9, 2012

Continuing Yesterday's Metaphor...

Today was the warmest day of the year, so far. At its peak, the temperature was roughly 73˚F (23˚C). The Sakura trees, as well as many others, are still in full bloom. It was a beautiful day, and exactly what I've been looking forward to since April last year, and...

...I am totally miserable. I'm still not sure whether I've got allergies, or just a really persistent, bad cold that has coincidentally gotten worse with the number of trees in blossom, but whatever it is, it's hit me hard and made simply existing somewhat painful.

This morning, I decided that being miserable was a choice and that I would boldly choose to seize the day and NOT be miserable. I took a Claritin tablet for some added insurance.

However, as I was walking through beautiful Shinjuku park with friends early this afternoon, I could not stop sneezing... which was not my choice. Eventually my body ached from the jolt and force of each sneeze. While my friends went on to visit several more parks, I caught the train home, where I lay down for an hour and slept for a total of maybe 15 minutes off and on.

Today was a gift from God: a beautiful warm day, a vacation from school, the kind of day I'd been looking forward to and yet I was so overwhelmed by my symptoms that I couldn't fully enjoy or appreciate the day.

Sin does much the same thing: it takes something good that God created and then totally distorts it, or totally distorts our enjoyment of it. Sex, money, family, career... all of those are basically good things that God created, things that are beautiful in the proper context of God being the center of our lives. However, we misuse these and other things, give them inflated importance or purposes that God didn't intend. We replace God with some created thing as being the focal point of our life. At that point, we've lost the beauty and joy that God intended.

Somehow, sin manages to advertise itself as glamorous, flashy and fun. However, as I sit here trying to write, coughing, sneezing, sniffing, eyes watering, I can plainly see and feel that anything which distorts or disrupts enjoyment of God's creation is miserable at the core, and ought to be eradicated. I wonder, what will the world be like when that happens?

The final scene from C.S. Lewis' "The Last Battle", the concluding installment in the Chronicles of Narnia, comes to mind. At the end, Aslan takes the characters into Real Narnia, which resembles the Narnia they knew, only it is bigger, more beautiful, more vivid and more real.

Eventually, my symptoms will ease up, and at that point, I will be able to enjoy the beauty of the day and my surroundings without distraction, without disruption. This will be a taste of that realness to which Lewis refers. One day, sin will be vanquished once and for all, and we will be able to enjoy an existence where God is at the center, always. Even the strongest joy that we feel in this lifetime is but a first-fruit, a sliver of the full joy we'll experience on that day.


No comments:

Post a Comment