This quote by St. Augustine frequently causes me to reflect on what are the things I love.
How do you know what you love? I go by what I grieve losing. If I am sad to have lost something, then I clearly had an affectionate attachment to it. The extent of the grief measures the depth of the love.
Sunday afternoon I was thrilled that my favorite basketball team won a game to advance in the NCAA tournament. Minutes after the game, I learned that our star point guard had broken a bone in his wrist. His availability for the rest of the tournament is questionable. Our chance of winning the prize is greatly diminished.
I was in a funk all night long and did not sleep well.
Is basketball my god, or perhaps one in a constellation of gods I adore? I hope not, but I do orient my life and schedule, hopes and dreams around my team’s games.
Another measure of whether something is your god is how much pride you take in it.
“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.” (1)
My favorite team has had a great season and has provided me with much enjoyment, but the season will be incomplete if they do not win the NCAA title. Winning allows me to boast, “My team won!”
When my grief pulls me down and my pride puffs me up, God does me a favor and reminds me of His Word:
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. (2)
Later in 1 Corinthians 13:13, God reminds us that there are three lasting things in life “faith, hope, and love.” He concludes by teaching “The greatest of these is love!
Why do we place greater love in perishables, than in non-perishables?
Guard your heart.
Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul,
all of your mind, and all of your strength. (3)
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Lewis, C. S. (2009-03-17). A Year with C. S. Lewis (p. 88). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), 1 Corinthians 9:24–25.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Mark 12:30