“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.” C.S. Lewis
That is one of my favorite quotes because I think it demonstrates how easily distracted we are in today’s world and how we are willing to settle for the mud pies that our world offers. I often read the Jesus Storybook Bible to my children and this quote is brought to life in the Prodigal Son story found in Luke 15. The following is a summary, paraphrase of the story.
Once upon a time, there was a boy and his dad. The boy got to thinking. Maybe if I didn’t have my dad around telling me what is good for me all the time, I’d be happier. He’s spoiling my fun, he thinks. Does my dad really want me to be happy? Does my dad really love me?
So the son goes to his father and says, “Dad, I’m better off without you. I can look after myself. Just give me my share of your money.”
His father is sad, but he won’t force his boy to stay. The son takes the money and goes on a long journey. Everything is perfect for a while. He can go wherever he wants, do whatever he wants, be whomever he wants. He is free. Sometimes he gets a strange, hungry, homesick feeling inside his heart, but he just eats more, drinks more, buys more clothes and goes to more parties.
Soon his money runs out, and so do his friends. He ends up getting the only job he can find: feeding pigs. One day, he is so hungry he tries some pig food. He thinks to himself, “My father is rich, and here I am in a pig sty, eating pig food.” So he finally decides to go home.
Day after day, his dad has been standing on the porch waiting for his son to come home. He can’t stop loving him, and he longs for the sound of his voice. The son is still a long way off, but the dad sees him coming. He leaps off the porch, races towards him and throws his arms around him. “Let’s have a party,” the dad shouts. “My boy is home. He ran away. I lost him-but now I have him back?”
Jesus told them, “God is like the dad who couldn’t stop loving his boy, and we are like the son who said, ‘Does my dad really want me to be happy.’”
Back to the C.S. Lewis quote. We are far too easily satisfied with the “Does this make me happy?” when the question really should be “Does this make our Savior happy?” We are satisfied with the temporary and momentary pleasures of our world when we have an all knowing, infinite, all powerful God who loves us deeply and desires to show us the true riches.
Within the walls of the fraternity of BYX, there are two angles we can look at this. One is that we at Nationals are like the dad. We want what’s best for each of our local chapters. Sometimes what is best isn’t necessarily what you think is best. We are here to provide guidance, wisdom, experience and to serve you as you lead your local chapters. Ultimately, the Lord has placed us in leadership authority over the local chapters and vision of BYX. It is our desire to empower you as leaders with the vision of BYX and then provide support for you as we all collaborate to execute that vision on your campus.
The second angle, and more personal to individuals, is the way we can challenge one another to check our own hearts. Are we chasing after the momentary pleasures of this world or are we trusting in the Lord, that He knows what’s best for our futures and ultimately desires to give us the best gifts and treasures in Himself. All we need to do is trust him, and seek after Him.
If you would like further teaching on the Prodigal Son, here is a link to BYX Board Member Tyler Wilson preaching a sermon on the passage.