What is the most thrilling thing that one can experience in this life? Is it the out of body feeling of riding on a fast roller coaster? Or the exquisite experience of eating the most amazingly tasty delicacy? Or the euphoria of a drug induced high? Or the ecstatic feeling of climaxing during sexual intercourse? Or the supreme delight of enjoying a spa in a splendid environment? Or the immense sense of accomplishment when you’ve completed a mind boggling task?
It seems the wealth of life is measured in these enjoyable thrilling pursuits. The more of these rich and pleasurable experiences we have with the least effort, the higher the quality of our life is said to be. The life of leisure and pleasure may seem like a blessed and enviable life, but those who have every thrill they ever sought are still prone to depression and misery. So why can’t pleasure be enough for us?
I think it is because we were made of more than body and mind. To feed and stimulate body and mind is not enough for one to feel whole. We are also spirit, and our complete joy and fulfilment with our lives hinges also on how we nourish our spirits as much as how we nourish our bodies and minds.
However, in a world that denies the spirit, many who look rich are walking around malnourised and on the brink of death! They seek all forms of stimulation, often obsessively, but never realize why joy and fulfilment evades them. They overindulge on good things until they feel sick, or experiment with bad things until they hurt themselves, all in the name of maintaining a perceived state of bliss.
One of the most abused experiences is sexual satisfaction. As the only experience one can enjoy with only their natural bodies, many are driven to exploit it in every conceivable way, pushing the limits until ecstasy can no longer be experienced with just their bodies. Then they introduce the unnatural and drugs, to multiply their stimulation, while damaging the natural senses that made wholesome sex a beautiful delight for those who engage in it.
All these they do, because they long to tap into a part of themselves that is beyond body and mind. They long to escape from body and mind into an unexplored realm without limitations. They long to maximise their true human potential and stimulate mind, body and spirit all at once… But they can never succeed when they reject the power of the spirit and deny it’s need for real stimulation and nourishment.
Atheists often mock Christians who look forward to going to Heaven, by saying that all that awaits them are endless, repetitive, boring days of praise and worship. They can’t imagine how that can induce joy or give fulfillment. It seems like a pointless waste of eternity to them – a life sentence in a place they would rather not be. But that’s because they don’t know what they are made of or made for.
Imagine that you’re a sports car, made to go at extreme speeds. But your driver doesn’t know your potential, and only drives you to the supermarket or bank, now and then. What if your driver doesn’t even know how to drive? That would be a miserable sports car! It longs for the expressway and for high speeds, but will never experience the thrill because its driver is ignorant or fearful.
We are made for love. For true love. Passionate, thrilling love. Love that gives us freedom to be truly ourselves but also safely protects us with grace and justice. Living in the presence of God will be just as thrilling as any earthly experience, and more so. Living under the light of His glorious rays will be as intoxicating as the wildest drug. Beholding His glorious face will be as tear-provoking as a sensuous climax. Uttering the words “I love You”, “You are Worthy” “Awesome God” will be as natural a reflex as the feeling you have when you want to tell that special someone who holds your heart dear that you love them – for the very first time! Can you imagine that?
Our spirits were made to know God, to love Him, to honour Him, to worship Him. His commandments for us to do those things is as wise as the doctor’s orders to take your medicine or have some bed-rest! He tells us to do these things because He knows that we are prone to feed only our minds and bodies (and so will be malnourished spiritually). We are prone to neglect our spiritual health. But when we get to Heaven, we will feed our spirits with the worship of God as easily and as naturally as we desire food and drink and hunger and thirst to nourish our bodies on Earth. And we will be satisfied with Him.
Jesus gave us a glimpse of this heavenly bliss when He said:
“Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” (John 17:3).
Imagine the pleasures of sex, and the euphoria of being in love, and the satisfaction of achievement. These are some of the best experiences we can have in this life, by stimulation of our natural senses. But in Heaven, all our senses, human and divine, will be stimulated and we will be in continual bliss, joyful and fulfilled as we abide in the presence of God, serving Him and others, resting and worshiping Him. That is what we were made for. Don’t settle for less.
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