Friday, 3 May 2013

Gratitude - the difference between Christian and atheistic Joy

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As spring really begins to get moving, and I can perceive the first sign of emerging beech leaves - feelings of Joy are common when standing in the garden or walking around the place.

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This always has been the case for me - but before I was a Christian I had nothing to do with this Joy - except to hope it would continue for as long as possible.

This amplified my innate tendency to cling to happiness; so that all Joy was bittersweet, even as I experienced it.

And I assumed this-Joy-now would be lost, utterly, when my memory for it had gone, or become distorted, or I had died.

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But now, as a rule, Joy moves on to gratitude for that Joy; and I know that this specific Joy as I experience it will be permanent: so that now Joy is wholly Good.

That, as much as anything, encapsulates the profound difference between being a Christian and not: Christians are (or ought to be) grateful for Joy, and find in Joy both consolation and expectation.

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I am using 'Joy' here in the sense established by C.S Lewis in his memoir Surprised by Joy

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