Well, we've made it to the end of Chapter 3. As Chan wraps things up, he asks a very interesting question: "If someone asked you what the greatest good on this earth is, what would you say? An epic surf session? Financial security? Health? Meaningful, trusting friendships? Intimacy with your spouse? Knowing that you belong?" If you read the title of today's entry then you know the answer... but let's say you didn't. Let's pretend that you're not reading this book. I'm willing to bet that many of you... myself included... might say that God is the greatest good... but only because we know that it's what we're suppose to say. (Okay, maybe I'm the only one... but I'm going to pretend that we're all in the same boat here!) The thing is... it's not that I don't think God is good. I know He is. But when you pose a question like this to someone, I think the automatic response is to think about the things in your life that are good... that bring you the greatest happiness and joy... OR the things that you THINK will bring you the greatest happiness and joy. In my heart, I know the answer should be God... but I'm not there yet. My answer... my honest answer... would be the innocent, unassuming, unconditional love of a child.
So, this brings me to the last part of the chapter... and if your HONEST answer to Chan's question wasn't that God is the greatest good, then this could sting a little bit. (And, even if it was, this could still be a little painful!) But, please, remember that this is what the blog is about: Digging deep... clearing out all the muck so we can authentically love God. Here's what Chan has to say:
"Do you believe that God is the greatest thing you can experience in the whole world? Do you believe that the Good News is not merely the forgiveness of your sins, the guarantee that you won't go to hell, or the promise of life in heaven? The best things in life are the gifts from the One who steadfastly loves us. But an important question to ask ourselves is this: Are we in love with God or just His stuff?" p. 62
Nothin' like a sucker punch to take the air right out of ya! But, this isn't really a sucker punch, is it? It's more like a direct hit, right to the heart of the matter. There's no mincing words here. He asks a hard question in such a direct manner that we can't hide. I think there are a lot ways we can dissect this and I'm not even gonna try to do it here. But, I will share what I learned from this: If you pose Chan's question to me and ask for an immediate response, then the answer I gave earlier would still hold true. But, if you give me time to think about the question, I would readily admit that what I find to be the greatest good in the world (the innocent, unassuming, unconditional love of a child) is from God. It is one of His precious gifts. My belief in God isn't "fire insurance." I'm not trying to hedge my bets against hell or increase my odds of entering heaven. I'm over that hurdle, if you will. I readily admit, and I'm exceedingly thankful for, the blessings that God has bestowed upon me, but for now, my greatest joy is still tied to the blessing and not to God. I know the gap between the two is closing, but it still exists... for now.
I'm going to segway into Chapter 4. When you get a chance, take a look at the intro video. The next seven weeks are about rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. Chapter 4 is the reason I started this blog.