My Dog Consumes Filth...and Likes it!
A few weeks ago I woke up to my dog eating our bathroom trash. Arghh...If I were to eat trash, trash from our bathroom would be a last resort. And yet, for my dog, we have to actively close the door so she won't get in.
After this incident, I couldn't help but think of how this applies to our lives. Desires are a natural, and important, part of being human.
EAT AND DRINK AND ENJOY
Consider this theme in Ecclesiastes:
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God...(2:24)
Having desires is not the problem and, therefore, finding a way to always deny what we want is not the solution.
The problem is we seek pleasures on our own terms.
To quote the author of Ecclesiastes again:
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (12:13)
This concluding statement places his earlier statement ("eat and drink and find enjoyment...") in a proper context.
>> THE SOLUTION
The solution is allowing a fear of God and his commandments to guide us in which desires we should pursue and which ones we should flee from.
If the Christian journey is a path, the fear of God and his commandments are the guard rails keeping our passions on track.
To return to my dog, it saddens me that she finds so much pleasure in bathroom trash, especially because it delights me to feed her! But not just feed her anything: the best of gluten-free dog food and yummy breath-freshening bones! If you're hungry, little doggy, I'll feed you! As Lewis will say in a moment, she "is far too easily pleased."
A FAR BETTER FEAST
We can draw a comparison to God too. So many of his image-bearers are busy, head faced down in the "bathroom trash" when he's offered us to eat with him at the finest of banquets. This is all a little convicting.
Was it not Jesus who said to his disciples, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst" (John 6:35)? The bread and water he offers is far better than other we could think up.
In one of C.S. Lewis' well-known statements he said:
It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too week. 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 the sea. We are far too easily pleased. (The Weight of Glory)
Lord, re-direct my desires, make my heart only satisfied in you.