Thursday, January 7, 2010

Because I'm not poor.

"Poverty in youth, when it succeeds, is so far magnificent that it turns the
whole will towards effort, and the whole soul towards aspiration. Poverty
strips the material life entirely bare, and makes it hideous; thence arise
inexpressible yearnings towards the ideal life. The rich young man has a
hundred brilliant and coarse amusements, racing, hunting, dogs, cigars, gaming,
feasting, and the rest; busying the lower portions of the soul at the expense of
its higher and delicate portions. The poor young man must work for his
bread; he eats; when he has eaten, he has nothing more but reverie. He
goes free to the play which God gives; he beholds the sky, space, the stars,
the flowers, the children, the humanity in which he suffers, the creation
in which he shines. He looks at humanity so much that he sees the soul, he
looks at creation so much that he sees God." -Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

I know poverty does not always have such happy results, but the idea that a life closed to trivial amusements ends up a simpler, better life rings true to me. Should I lament that my life is full of good things and endless opportunity? I don't. But I am discovering that if I truly want to be devoted to Christ and to hunger and thirst for Him, I have to stop filling myself with other things. When I have Christ, I need very little else.

It truly would be far easier to choose Christ if I didn't have so many other temptations luring my attention away every moment. Since God has given me far more than I need, my work is to focus my eyes on Him, and following his example, begin pouring out all this good in love to others.

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