Table Mountain reigns over Cape Town, South Africa. When we first got sight of it from the highway, we were unable to take our eyes off of its stately, presiding presence. Its abrupt cliffs, rising up out of Cape Town on the oceanfront etched its postcard beauty in our minds. As you see, I can get rather poetic about it. But . . .
Not everybody sees it this way.
My first child was with us in the back seat playing with an inexpensive toy. We tried to get him to see this impressive sight but, because he was only eight months old, he wasn’t the least bit interested. Though we begged him to look, he obviously didn’t believe anything worth seeing was out there. He may have not even known what a mountain is, for all I know. Tourists pay thousands of dollars to see this and he couldn’t care less!
Like a child enamored with a small toy when there is so much to see, many people are caught up in such insignificant trifles. They long for sex and cars and honor and possessions as if these are what life is actually about. Even the best of it all is so temporary and circumstantial. So you win a few accolades along the way, and you add to your pile of things—are these really so important?
When it comes to Thanksgiving time, such people really have little to be thankful for—not because much more is not there to experience (He even invites people to know Him!), but because they are entirely too enamored with what is only marginal by comparison.
What if you were called on this Thanksgiving to give a report of what you were thankful for? If you could say, not what you ought to say, but what is strictly true, what would come out of your mouth? What makes you really happy?
I once heard a man use the phrase, “the expulsive power of a new affection.” He used it about the story of the woman at the Samaritan well. Jesus promised her a “fountain of water springing up to eternal life.” She was told that she would never thirst again. When she grasped the meaning of this, she immediately “left her water pot” and ran into the city to tell the great news.
She drank of something, someone, so satisfying that she forgot the whole reason for her trip to the well! Someone was more attractive than anything she had ever encountered. And she was a veteran at chasing her cravings. She had married five husbands and was living with yet another man. But her true longings were not met until that encounter with Jesus.
There, outside of the window of your own limited experience is something more fulfilling than you’ve known before, something for which you will be far more thankful if you could only see it.
Christ is that one who satisfies. You don’t just have to take my word for it, or the word of millions of others through the centuries—you may keep on playing with your toys and forget Him if you wish. That’s every person’s prerogative.
But there is much more.
“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14
© Jim Elliff 2003