Child of the World

Child of the World October 21, 2020

Child of the world,
are you tired of your bondage?
Weary of earth joys,
so false, so untrue?
Thirsting for God
and His fullness of blessing?
List to the promise,
a message for you!

“I will pour water
on him that is thirsty,
I will pour floods
upon the dry ground;
Open your hearts for
the gifts I am bringing;
While ye are seeking Me,
I will be found.”

This old hymn is not written for the professional skeptic, but the seeker.

Socrates was a seeker, discontent with easy answers, the establishment, and afraid of believing lies. We are thirsty, but we do not wish to be dupes to some local grifter. Any time there is a need, someone will market a phony cure.

The easiest way to avoid the intellectual humbug is to believe nothing, do nothing, ask for nothing. If we do not pray for healing, then we will never fall for the carny evangelist’s lies. If we do not take intellectual risks, then we will never be seriously wrong. Of course, if miracles can happen, we will miss them. If the risk was needed, then we will fail in a pitiful mediocrity. If an age calls for heroes, then hesitation is cowardice and quibbling means failure.

We did not fall for grifters, but we missed the heroes of faith.

Our problems, as children of this world, are not, however, always intellectual. Plato understood (see Republic VIII, IX) that the child of the world, the flesh, and devils becomes a slave to an inner drone. Our passions, if indulged, become our masters. We are slaves to desires and our intellects eventually can become impotent, unable to create, innovate, or grow. We are in bondage to the cruelest master: our own passions.

Oddly, the pleasures themselves, in so far as they are pleasant, are not the problem. The misuse of these joys turns them into wearisome masters. Heavenly longings, the eternity in our hearts, cannot be satisfied by even the finest earthly pleasure. I eat too much, turning food into false comfort. This is not even something I mean to do, or set out to do, but advertising, weakness, and habit makes a constant problem. I think this extra slice of beef will be good for me, but this is false, so untrue. Naturally, if physically hungry, food helps. The problem is not the food, the earthly pleasure, but the deception that this can satisfy my heart’s deepest longing.

If you wish goodness, truth, and beauty, then the best filet is not much.

God, if He exists, is (by definition!) the fullness, the completion, of heavenly longings. If the seeker opens his heart to the gifts He is bringing, “while ye are seeking Me, I will be found.” The good God loves us and no sincere heart cry will be ignored, forgotten, or damned. The dry tedium of mindless entertainment or barren intellectualism can be flooded with joy and reason.

This is such good news and it is true. Often, even today, I have stood weary of misused, misplaced earthly joys and the Spirit came and washed me, made me new, gave me hope. The problems, they are real, but now can be seen in the light of an eternity where Goodness works to recreate, restore, and renew. The dry feelings may remain earthy in parallel with the new heavenly hope, but the earth becomes soaked with Holy Water and so (at least in promise!) Earth becomes linked to Heaven!

Some might think: “I have opened myself and nothing. Where is the promise?”

Look to the heavenly portion of your being and see what is bubbling up there. The earth joys, misplaced so false, so untrue, may for the moment continue misplaced. This drag remains, but what of the inner longing? Is there even a glimpse of eternity, unchanging, inexorable, omnipotent, omniscient, thrilling? If so, then focus on this (maybe) small plot of the soul. Watch. Pray. Ask for more and I have discovered the joys unfold.

Earthly life keeps happening to us. Broken bits keep being broken, but an alternative and better reality, the realest real that there is, begins to grow within us. We are baptized in the Holy Spirit, so becoming children of the Kingdom. We gain access to Heavenly pleasures that are the answer to our Heavenly longings.

I am glad.

Verse 1.

Browse Our Archives