DayBreaks for 8/30/18: An Excellent Question
From the DayBreaks archive, August 2008:
I love a good question! Good questions (and many DayBreaks readers have posed some really good ones to me in the past 11 years!) make one think! And thinking is good, methinks!
It turns out that Blaise Pascal, a 17th century mathematician, philosopher and theologian, had a pretty good noggin and thought some pretty deep thoughts. And, he asked some excellent questions.
I have noticed in my life that no matter how good things are, or how happy I may be, that there always still seems to be something missing. Even at my most happiest moments, there is an aching inside my heart that tells me that there is an absence that hasn’t been filled. Why is that?
That’s one of the things that Pascal wrestled with, too (hey – I’m in good company!), but he came up with an explanation for it that is worth pondering. In the manner of great thinkers, he posed his answer in the form of a question so that we could wrestle with it on our own. He said (paraphrasing): Do you miss something you’ve never had? Here’s an example: have you ever grieved the loss of being able to fly? No – while you may wish you could fly, it’s not something you’ve ever been able to do, so you can’t grieve the loss of it. Have you ever grieved losing your third eye, or a third leg or arm? No. Why? Because you’ve never had them to start with.
But we do grieve a loss that we feel inside, this nameless and relentless longing for something that we no longer have. And what is it that we are missing? I think there are probably several things that we did once have, but which we have lost:
FIRST: innocence. We were born and formed in the womb as innocent beings, but all too soon we lost our innocence and we grieve that loss. Shame and guilt took the place of that initial innocence – and they stick with us!
SECOND: the full image of God that we were meant to bear was lost when we sinned. We were meant to be more like Him than we are – surely Adam and Eve knew what this image was like when they walked and talked in the garden with God – being to being, in sinlessness. We can’t do that in the same way now that they did – at least, not until we depart this world.
THIRD: the awareness of His Presence, heaven and home. We came from God. I don’t know where our souls were before we were conceived, or if they were created at that moment, but this I do know: we have a longing for a better place. Where could that longing have come from if it were not implanted into our awareness by God? Why would He do such a thing? As a beacon, it calls us back to our true home and our true Father.
Ecclesiastes 3:10-11 (NIV) – I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
PRAYER: Lord, you have put eternity in our hearts and we don’t comprehend it. But we have a longing for Home, for our True Father. May we follow that yearning beacon to Your (and our!) heavenly home! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.