Monday, October 17, 2011

Lanterns vs. Stars

The Lord sometimes blows my mind away. Sometimes He just gives me more than I can take. He’s awesome like that. And today, He did it again.

I was feeling unappreciated this afternoon, so I decided to read a blog that I knew usually lifted me up. Adam Young and I could seriously be best friends. Our minds think so much alike. (For those of you who don’t know who he is, he is Owl City. Think of the song Fireflies. That’s him. He’s a Christian, and is very outspoken about that in his blog. I love reading it because of that fact. You’d probably like it--Owl City Blog--The Official Blog) I’ve taken from his inspirations countless times, and many a time I should have noted his influence, but he has permeated my thinking—actually, we both write in similar styles, so some of his wording and mine collide. Anyways, back to why we were both inspired.

We are so satisfied by temporal things. It’s sad. I have this quote by C. S. Lewis written on a paper on my wall in my room at home:

We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about… like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot understand what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

“I’m a thinker, not a talker. Mind pictures, exemplums and allegories hit home. This one was a grand slam,” said Adam Young. I can think of no other way to describe this quote he quoted by SØren Kierkegaard:

“When the prosperous man on a dark but starlit night drives comfortably in his carriage and has the lanterns lighted, aye, then he is safe, he fears no difficulty, he carries his light with him, and it is not dark close around him. But precisely because he has the lanterns lighted, and has a strong light close to him, precisely for this reason, he cannot see the stars. For his lights obscure the stars, which the poor peasant, driving without lights, can see gloriously in the dark but starry night. So those deceived ones live in the temporal existence: either, occupied with the necessities of life, they are too busy to avail themselves of the view, or in their prosperity and good days they have, as it were, lanterns lighted, and close about them everything is so satisfactory, so pleasant, so comfortable — but the view is lacking, the prospect, the view of the stars.”

If we hold on to man-made comforts, man-made lights, even in the darkest night, we miss the beauty God set before us in the stars. If you think about it, we usually reach for those lanterns. They’re easy, they’re useful, they’re “normal”. But are they really what we’d choose if we really thought?

We miss out on God’s best because we don’t wanna leave our make-do’s.


  1. Loved this post, Janae! I really like your style of writing and have enjoyed Adam's too, of what I have read. I also love allegories and word pictures, and delight in finding spiritual truths in the ordinary and extraordinary. : )
    This theme that you focused on goes with a John Piper sermon that I listened to yesterday - "Your Joy Will Not Be Taken Away."
    It was about finding our joy in God, not in other things, the temporal, sin, etc. Basically if we seek to find our joy in God, we won't crave other things, and we will be satisfied in Him. Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. I've said it before, will say it again. I love the way your mind works. So much loveliness. You and Adam are a ton alike. :D

    I love what Ms Ruthie said too, there at the end.

    It's weird how scary it can be, moving into the "unknown", turning out the lights. Who knows what's really out there? But like the CS Lewis quote, we won't know what we're missing unless we do it. We're too easily pleased! Aaahh so many ideas flowing through my mind. Let's just dive in. We'll have more fun that way. We'll get to experience the holiday at the sea God is offering us. Boy I can't wait :D

  3. Wow, I guess this is inspiring to more than just Adam and I! ;)

    Thanks, Ruthie, I like that! That's really the crux of what I was trying to say. ;) I miss you!

    And Katie, you are so right! I hadn't even thought about that facet of it! That really applies well, since we all have a lantern of our own today. Well said.


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