“Christ said it was difficult for ‘the rich’ to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, referring, no doubt, to ‘riches’ in the ordinary sense. But I think it really covers riches in every sense—good fortune, health, popularity and all the things one wants to have…All these things tend...To make you feel independent of God. “
--From “Answers to Questions on Christianity” in Timeless at Heart
I love this passage from C.S. Lewis, it challenges me so much. I’m asking myself, “what am I pursuing?” Is it contentment in this world that I seek after so much? Or is it Christ? Lewis says “God wants to give you a real and eternal happiness.” I have to consider the reality that our time here on earth is so brief. I find that I am always looking around, at other people’s lives, and wondering if they’ve got it better. If they are happier, stronger, healthier, more content than I am. You know, Paul said in Philippians (the letter he wrote from jail remember?) that he had learned the secret to being content. I don’t think Paul was implying that we should all chase after contentment. Remember what the secret was? “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13. That is the secret…CHRIST! Don’t get me wrong, contentment is a beautiful character trait, and one worthy of developing. We should be satisfied with the Lord has given us. What I mean is that we have confused the word contentment with comfortable.
Like I hear people saying “I just don’t feel content in this job, neighborhood, etc.” As if a lack of contentment is an excuse to get out of something? Or, like I said before is contentment being confused with comfortable.
Here’s what I think I mean:
Being comfortable would make sense if this is all there is. If at the end of our lives, we die and it’s over, then of course we would seek after comfort, and happiness. However, I know that this is not the end. I know that at the end of this life I will spend eternity in heaven with God. This makes my life on earth a hotel, not a home. It’s a pit stop…or maybe even more accurately a training ground. What if life is really boot camp, or high school? You know when you’re in high school and you think “this sucks, I can’t wait to graduate and get to the real world?” Maybe heaven is the real world. Which makes our brief lives a little more tolerable…right?
From the same essay Lewis gives a great example:
“Imagine a set of people all living in the same building. Half of them think it is a hotel, the other half think it is a prison. Those who think it a hotel might regard it as quite intolerable, and those who thought it was a prison might decide that it was really surprisingly comfortable. “
So the question is not; “Am I comfortable?” It is; “Should I be?”