There are some joys that are only possible on the other side of sorrow.
– John Piper
My Father bade me come, and said, “Ask me for what you need. And spread Before me all your heart. Seek me For ev’ry true desire, and see If I will ever fail to love You perfectly with treasures of My boundless store, my heart. And keep On knocking. Though I do not sleep, I have my reasons for delay, And I delight to hear you pray. If you should need an anchor for your boat, But, lured by hunger, ask for bread, I’ll mark your need, and lest you seaward float, Give you a heavy stone instead. Or if you need to drain a viper’s fang, A healing antidote to make, But ask for useless fish to ease the pang, I will discern, and give the snake. O precious child, think not, because I meet your needs with love by laws Beyond your grasp: It is in vain For you to pray, as if the gain Of snake and stone were no reply To your desire. Dear Child, your cry Does open treasuries, and shake The heavens. I bid you come and take These keys, and all my store unlock, My heart. To ask, and seek, and knock.” - John Piper
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all
To love with an ahava kind of love, which says,
‘I’ve seen the ugliest parts of you, and I am here to stay.’
To love in spite of the messy, difficult, frustrating, and painful. Just like how You love us even when we’re messy, difficult, frustrating, and painful to deal with, so shall we too, love.
The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately and forever.
– A.W. Tozer
Why do people buy lottery tickets?
It’s certainly not based on any rational analysis of financial risk or reward.
So, why do something that almost never seems to work?
Because it actually works every single time.
What it does is release a hit of dopamine, first when you think about buying one, then again when you decide to buy one, and then a third time when you actually transact. For regular players, these three moments of hope and joy demolish the sadness that comes from actually losing.
It’s a hope rush, for cheap.
Well, the same thing is true for the billion people carrying around a Pavlovian box in their pocket. The smart phone (so called in honor of the profit-seeking companies who were smart enough to make them) is an optimized, tested and polished call-and-response machine. So far, Apple’s made a trillion dollars by ringing our bell.
Every time it pulses, we get a hit.
Every time we realize we haven’t checked it in two minutes, we get a hit.
Hit, hit, hit.
And again and again.
The box vibrates, we feel hope and fear and our loneliness subsides, then we check, and we lose (again).
But we are hooked, so we put the phone in our pocket and wait for it to happen again.
Ring a bell?
“May my every cross be sanctified, every loss be gain, every denial a spiritual advantage, every dark day a light of the Holy Spirit, every night of trial a song.”