We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Innocent Pleasures

Are you attracted to violence?

In the book, The Education of a Child, Francois Fenelon of the 17th century writes that “health and innocence are the true sources of enjoyment; but those who have had the misfortune to accustom themselves to violent pleasures lose all taste for those of a more moderate nature. They proceed to fatigue themselves in a restless pursuit, seeking after excessive gratifications.” (If you are interested in a seminar based on this book, check out the CD or MP3).

If we allow our children to delight in things that do not delight the heart of God–whether violent television shows or mindless video games–we set them up for future failure. Character is what’s needed, and with character comes the enjoyment of what is pure, peaceable, noble and good.

Recently I brought a young man whom I was mentoring on a rock climb to the celebrated Shawangunk mountains. We would climb the rock scramble up through the famous lemon squeeze and there experience one of the most majestic vistas on earth. After about thirty minutes of experiencing this breath-taking beauty, we would then climb to the stone tower on the top of the mountain which allows you to view the world renowned castle like edifice, the Mohonk Mountain House (which, incidentally, is the location for the Lamplighter Guild for Creative Disciplines!)

It truly is my favorite place on earth! It’s my Garden of Eden.

I have been guiding my friends on this climb for the past thirty-three years and each time I see the same awestruck expression. But not this time. Thomas was texting his girlfriend. Throughout the walk he was texting and at one point where we sat to rest, I saw him playing a game on his iphone. To me this was unthinkable. I gently shared what he could be experiencing if he was willing to shut his phone down. He placed his phone in his pocket but after receiving another text message, he was once again absorbed, blinded to the extraordinary beauty that surrounded him.

Oh that we would be like David and say, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

Resources for today:
• Sir Malcolm and the Missing Prince: “I give orders, not take them. I am the Prince. I am the King’s son!” But now Prince Hubert, who had always said and done too little, finds himself in an unfamiliar place where he is simply known as Hugh, a peasant boy. His silks and satins are replaced with rough work clothes, which he learns during his time spent with the widow of the forest.

Summer Reading Challenge:
Have the boredoms of summer doldrums hit already? Transform your summer into an unforgettable voyage into the land of imaginative stories from the Lamplighter collection! Join Lamplighter’s Summer Reading Challenge today! Lamplighter’s Summer Reading Challenge is distinct because it focuses on quality literature, character building, and service. For more information, click here.

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Published in: on July 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. Good post. Is there a connection in this case between violence and the young man’s lack of interest in natural beauty? The video game may have been violent, but you didn’t mention that? Or are there two different issues at stake here?

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