Thursday, 3 February 2011

Nothing wrong with fine wine

There are so many good things available for us to enjoy. It's amazing how God designed some of the most basic human functions to be pleasurable experiences. Eating is one I particularly enjoy. Adriano recently posted an excerpt from John Piper about how we are distracted from loving God, not so often by nasty diversions (like going out shoplifting), but by good things that He gave us to enjoy.

Because we don't want to replace the delight of knowing God with other, worldly delights, we sometimes assume that if something is "highly pleasurable" it is therefore dangerous and to be avoided. Take a fine wine, for instance; a Ch√Ęteau Les Vimieres le Tronquera perhaps. I've never tried it, but from the £30+/bottle pricing I can guess that it tastes good. However, I'm more likely to think "£35 a bottle! That's a sinfully high price!" and reject it based on the idea that anyone willing to fork out that much must be an elitist, hedonistic, consumerist pig. But when Jesus made His own wine, He didn't make Tesco's house red, it was the best.

I think there's a quietly present attitude that if a Christian had to choose between a flat-screen 38" HDTV and an old 18" box that were the same price, they should choose the naff one anyway because the great one might make them fall away from God. We are determined not to create idols. That's good, but lets not assume that if I am really, really enjoying a rib-eye steak, I will probably become a steak-idoliser.

I just have to remember that however much pleasure I get from anything else, it cannot compare to the riches I have in Christ. So I can be very satisfied after eating a delicious dinner, but I know that the finest food will not bring me ultimate satisfaction, God will. In that way, I think Christians become more free to enjoy life's small pleasures, because they know exactly how small they really are.

So I can carefully enjoy all that is enjoyable, remembering that
"You [God] will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." - Psalm 16:11

The main pleasure in heaven will stem from closeness to God, right?
But the food at that banquet is still gonna be awesome!

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