THE ONE ESSENTIAL FOR REAL LIFE
By Ernest O'Neill
The One Essential for Real Life
By Rev. Ernest O'Neill
How should we live this life? I don't know what your favorite songs are. It's very difficult for a European to like American country music but I like one song which I suppose as a pastor, I am not supposed to like. That song is called 'Old Dogs and Children and Watermelon Wine'. I don't know about the watermelon wine because I haven't tasted it but old dogs and children are two of the lovely things that we have in our world, that God has given us to show a little of his own heart.
I am better on old dogs but when you see a little baby with tiny little fingers, you are just amazed at those little fingers. You cannot believe that anything so tiny and so dear and tender could exist. Our dear God who has made us, has given us little babies like that to say to us, "I made that. I made the tiny little fingers. If you like that, you will surely like me." That's why he gave us little things like that.
I am better on the little dogs because I had a little Yorkshire terrier and I didn't have a baby. When you see a little Yorkshire terrier lying on his back, just dying to be tickled, you suddenly realize God made that little thing and the only reason He made it was to say to us, "Look, I am dearer than that. If you have enjoyed yourself with that little dog, that little dog has only a tiny bit of me in it. If you saw all of that in me, you'd love me."
That's why loved ones, God has given us all these things. These are lovely flowers but they are nothing compared with him. The fragrance that you get from flowers when you smell them in the springtime, they are nothing compared with the fragrance of Him, Himself. That's what we've been saying. All this world around us is here to express what God Himself is like, because he is hoping with all his heart that you will see that all these things are just things. They're all going to go and they're all going to disappear and they're all a very poor expression of what He Himself is like and that you would love him if you got to know him and that we are meant to get to know him.
We are meant to have a personal oneness with him and we're meant to enjoy him. In fact, here is the truth, what we need is not just food. You know that in your own experience. You have had food and then you have had food. Psychologists tell us that food we bolt down (eat fast) when someone throws it in front of us, keeps the blood flowing but it doesn't do half the good of something your mom lovingly made you and sets before you tenderly and with care. That food does something else for you.
It's true for most of the experiences we've had in this life. You have ridden a bike, a motorbike, and then you have ridden THE motorbike. You have driven a car and then you've driven THE car. You've gone out with a person and then you've gone out with A PERSON. In other words, all those experiences give you a lot more invisibly if they're right, than just the particular thrill you get from them on the surface. It really does seem, that in this life, there are things that you get from people, things and the world itself and then there's a deeper something you get from them.
Of course what we've been saying is that's actually what we need. We need that deeper something. The world here of things and people around us is only the surface thing that we need. Really, it's all here to reveal to us our dear Father, our Creator and that what we need most of all is him and his friendship.