I regret to say that my thirteen-year old son Josh hasn’t been attending very diligently to his schoolwork lately. In fact, video games have become quite a temptation for the young man. How can he focus on the unspeakable suffering of algebra problem sets when the playstation offers the constant promise of immediate delight? Thank you for your help!
Thank you for writing. I’m in Egypt right now digging up some past that may help with your future.
In the spirit of Matthew 5:13-14, please accept my most saliferous salutations (Now go ahead, look it up if you don’t get the joke; perhaps in my next letter you can look forward to receiving a luminous aloha!).
It would seem as if our young friend has yet to learn about what I like to call the “Law of Reversified Joyification.” I can’t say that I’m particularly surprised; although in some matters I’ve been called surprisingly particular! Many a seasoned sojourner upon the path of life has come to discover a disturbing discrepancy between what they thought they wanted and what they really needed in order to experience true joy.
This reversal of a person’s expectations may be either a re-terrible-versal or a re-wonderful-versal. A re-terrible-versal occurs whenever someone does something he or she knows is wrong because they think it will make them happy. And so it might... for a time. But you can Mark my words (and you might as well go and Matthew, Luke, and John my words too for good measure!) that in the end a re-terrible-versal is bound to come, no matter the momentary merriment.
Likewise, God can bring about a re-wonderful-versal as soon as we realize that He often takes the situations which we’re most afraid of and uses them to bring us to a place of greater joy than we could have ever imagined.
Striking, isn’t it?
Why, that reminds me of just the book for this case! It’s called Struck by Lightning, and in it a young girl named Katie learns not only that “unlawful pleasures can never bring true happiness” (53) but, more importantly, that “we know more of the Lord Jesus through one sanctified affliction than by all the treatises the human pen ever wrote” (101). And if all the treatises the human pen ever wrote can’t teach someone to know more of Jesus than one reversified affliction, I don’t see much use in wasting any more of this pen’s ink! So with that, I’ll skedaddle. I hope this was helpful!
Still His, still yours,
Finnian Jones, proprietor"
Struck by Lightning is available for purchase on the Lamplighter store.