From Soultalk, by Larry Crabb, on Augustine’s parable.
Suppose, Augustine said, God himself came to you and invited you to draw up your ultimate list, with things on it we’d all agree are OK for Jesus followers to enjoy: a good meal when you are hungry, a great family, a satisfying sense of purpose and meaning, the excitement of romance and adventure, robust health, a job that showcases your unique talents and earns you respect and lots of money, a season pass to the theater or to the ski slopes, a good nights sleep every night on your dial-a-number mattress, and, to top it off nicely, a good experience in the church Sunday morning where you gratefully worship the generous God who gave it all to you.
Suppose also that while you’re looking over your list and deciding it’s pretty complete—you might throw in a new car, maybe a boat and a vacation home—God speaks again. This time he says, “I’ll give you everything on your list and I will grant you a long life to enjoy it all. But there is a condition, only one: If you accept this offer, you will never see my face.
Augustine explained his parable this way: “The chill that you feel when you think of never seeing God’s face is your love for God.”
From me: Such a parable shows us what is really in the center of the heart of a true believer, the desire to see God’s face. That is why we live. We try to smother that passion with the stuff of this life, but never find satisfaction.
Focus in today in your desire to see God’s face. Seek that first and all else will be cool.