So to continue the theme from my last post here are 2 illustrations about the futility and then the stupidity of searching for contentment in this life alone.

The first is from our old friend Jeremiah Burrows:

I cannot better compare the folly of those men and women who think they will get contentment by musing about other circumstances than to the way of children who think that if they were on the top of that hill they would be able to touch the clouds with their fingers; but when they are on the top of that hill, alas, they are as far from the clouds as they were before.  So it is with many who think that if I were in such circumstances, then I should have contentment; and perhaps they get into circumstances and they are as far from contentment as before.

The other is from the ever helpful John Newton  1

Suppose a man was going to York to take possession of a large estate and his chaise should break down a mile before he got to the city, which obliged him to walk the rest of the way; what a fool we should think him if we saw him wringing his hands, and blubbering out all the remaining mile, ‘My chaise is broken!’ ‘My chaise is broken!’

Sadly I spend a deal of time wondering if I can grasp the clouds and complaining about my broken carriage but Jeremiah and John have helped me realise that, that energy would be better spent elsewhere because all I really need is Christ.

Notes:

  1. John Piper quotes Newton here but he changes York for New York – honestly Mr Piper you can’t do that to Mr Newton, besides do people even own large estates in New York?!