What Makes Us Hope for More?
MAY 9, 2023
What makes us think that there's more? What makes us believe at all in the existence of a perfect day? A day where the good experiences won't die with the setting sun.
We live in a world that’s often full of anger, confusion and frustration, sometimes seasoned with moments of hope, love, and joy, and often both at once. Yet we hold on to this idea of perfection. Why? I believe that in the core of us is the DNA of the Cosmic Lover, pulling us toward that hope. Pulling us toward love without limits.
The still beauty of every imperfect flower, the gentle touch of a lover, the sweet of chocolate, and of worship, all of them merely excite our appetites with the faint smell of perfection. That yearning can turn to lust—to be filled with more and more of the empty calories of one experience after another. The want for perfect food, love and worship can lead to gluttonous consumption of more imperfection, thinking that enough broken parts can be amassed to create a whole. But there’s never enough.
But that yearning can also lead us right where it points—to God.
C.S. Lewis said, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is 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.”
Hopelessness as an Invitation to Hope
Our flesh and our soul cry out for release from imperfection. And that is only one of a myriad ways in which our Father doggedly pursues us. And if finally we find ourselves at his feet, we will find a future where that desire is fulfilled. But the cost is that all our preconceptions about this current life are turned on their heads. As he takes us in his arms, swinging us about in dancing joy, God reveals in a sing-song voice of delight a planet in which the worst of us are forgiven just as easily as those who lived quiet lives of peace. Where the lazy, who only showed up at the end of the day, get paid the same as the hard-worker who bore the heat of the day.
It’s a place where enemies are loved and angry slaps are rebuffed with the offer of the other cheek. Whores and thieves become God’s closest friends, and religious professionals plot to decimate his will.
Man has created gods who pettily attack man and arbitrarily kill for their own satisfaction. That makes sense. But the true God of hope turns those human ideas upside-down. What would make us think there was ever a God who would die in our place? Who would love us while we hated him?
So, why do we hope for more? Because that hope is a trail of breadcrumbs that leads us to the truth that more does indeed exist. Just as C.S. Lewis wrote that hunger presupposes the existence of food, we can ask what then does our hunger for more presuppose? I say it’s a God who loves beyond even our deepest hopes and desires for more.