It is a strange happening in our day and age that men go about much business; toiling with pleasures that will never truly satisfy. Their joy rests in that which is temporal. They hear a beautiful melody and are entrapped within that moment, staged as it were, within the boundaries of their own experiential understanding; grazing the surface of a mind, which if they only dug but a little deeper would bring forth treasures of gold and silver and rubies.
Our Joy lies not within the melody, but surpasses the melody and fixates on something beyond a temporal enjoyment. Or so it should. The beauty of what we hear is only a faint, audible metaphor representing that which no melody can utter in completeness. It is as if we fixate on the seed rather than the fruit which it shall surely bear in due season.
Christ said in Matthew 13 that,
“The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” (Matt. 13:31-32 KJV).
So, you see, when the seed is valued as the prize, it prevents us from enjoying the benefits of the final product. Bit is this not so often the case? Haven’t we become so entranced by the object of meditation, that the purpose of meditation is lost in translation? A song, a sunset, a fond memory from a distant past; each of these contains traces of beauty, but their ultimate beauty cannot be found within themselves. The object can create certain longings and expectations, but the true beauty can only be found within the final manifestation of the longings and expectations that the object reflects.
A good book, (even the most Holy Scriptures I dare say), is of little value if it only sits on the shelf to collect dust; but when opened and consumed by the mind it illuminates the intellect and sparks the imagination into producing philosophies, ideas, and imagery useful for healthy meditation. To own the book simply for the sake of owning the book is a misuse of the books objective. But alas, we as a people are far too easily pleased.
As C.S. Lewis once put it,
“Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. 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 sea.” (‘The Weight of Glory’ [pg 1-2] by C.S. Lewis (copyright, 1949, By the Macmillan Company).
There is beauty to be seen and beauty to be heard; In every note and every word; In every laugh, in every cry; In every day that passes by.
We must learn to look past what is before us; the meal, the sun, the moon, the stars, the book, the play, the embrace of a spouse, the warmth of a child, etc… to truly experience the grand Author who is behind all of these beautiful pleasures of life; penning, as it were, each simple joy into existence for the sole purpose of revealing His matchless glory to the characters of His story. We are contemplative creatures who, like Adam, are meant to explore and create. Our design is to demonstrate the attributes of our Creator through the means of our minds and hands, and thus bring Him maximum glory. This means that we should see the beauty of God in every flower, the wisdom of God in every sunrise, and the power of God in every blow of thunder and flash of lightning that pierces the sky. Our voices should be instruments of praise, our hands tools of craftiness, and our hearts factories in which the greatest of affections are manufactured and stamped with the seal of love.
So with this in mind, let us labor with our hearts set on the glory of Christ so that He would, “grant us according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith; that we, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that me might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Eph. 3:16-19 KJV).
As Henry Scougal so brilliantly put it,
“What an infinite pleasure it must needs be, thus, as it were, to lose ourselves in Him, and being swallowed up in the overcoming sense of His goodness, to offer ourselves a living sacrifice, always ascending unto Him in flames of love.” (‘The Life of God in the Soul of Man’ [pg. 29] by Henry Scougal (1650-1678) (copyright, 2016, GodSounds, Inc.).
Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according unto the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. (Eph. 3:20-21)