Thursday, March 5, 2015

Embracing the Nasty

There is a quote that I have stumbled upon a number of times by Christian apologist C.S. Lewis regarding a particular oddity in humans related to the curious things that they
cling to so dearly,

"It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy if 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."

I have found that these words pop into my mind from time to time when I find myself clutching desperately to my own mudpies when there are opportunities to claim that wonderful holiday. Often though I am so myopic, so set in my ways, that I won't give up wallowing in that staining, cloying, filthiness without a fight. It seems that nothing short of having my treasures or my routine ripped from my grubby fingers will give me some perspective and some sensibility.

I have carried the same coffee travel mug about with me for more than ten years. Black plastic with stainless steel trim. I remember that it came free with a long since discarded coffee machine that I had purchased. Since the very beginning, this mug has constantly given me something to grumble on about as its plastic walls only kept my coffee hot for about 20 minutes. Furthermore, the mug was quite impossible to clean. The opening and closing mechanism in the lid of the cup always seems to be caked with coffee ground deposits and other curious solids no matter how hard I scrubbed it each evening. Lately, my grumbling has been compounded as my mug has seemingly developed a leak. Sometimes when I pick it up there is a pool of coffee about the base. I have also noticed that the seal at the top seems to have degraded such that it has become something of a dribble glass that has resulted in stains on my clothes, my kitchen floor, and my carpet. When my mug makes it through the day without incident, I find ways to talk myself into thinking that it will be just fine for a while longer and I utter things like, "See, everything is O.K. here. I likely just filled it too full or perhaps I didn't screw the lid on tight enough." Then I find new stains down my nice shirt while I drink my tepid, room temperature brew. I just go on making my mudpies instead of setting aside my old compromises, my old issues, my old regrets, and claiming that which is superior.