David Naugle’s new book, Reordered Love, Reordered Lives: Learning the Deep Meaning of Happiness, is a delightful series of reflections on a Christian understanding of happiness. I like his theme of balance and I wonder if some want to converse about the struggle to find the balance or to live happily with the imbalance. Here’s a good statement by Naugle:
Trying to live in the creation without the Creator, or
trying to live with the Creator without creation
is incomplete and ultimately harmful.
The struggle for the balance is palpable and surrounded by mystery and disrupted by our brokenness (he speaks here of Genesis 3). “Still,” he says, “we have a residual memory of paradise in our minds” (27). I believe this; I hope you do, too. Brokenness makes us long for happiness so much we find shallow happinesses in shallow things and shallow relations; our yearning is so deep we fixate on the shallow as we know that there is something deeper yet to know.
The Germans calls this Sehnsucht and Lewish fixated his heart and soul on Joy. That is, “we occasionally experience a mysterious and tremendous feeling that attracts and baffles us simultaneously” (28). Where have you found this experience?
Lewis said these experiences were the scent of the flower or the echo of the tune from a far country. In other words, these experiences are sacraments of The Thing Itself.