Far Too Easily Pleased

"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. WE ARE FAR TOO EASILY PLEASED."
C. S. Lewis preached these words at the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in Oxford, England on June 8, 1942. I was drawn to the full text of his sermon this morning as I thought back of 2008 and thought ahead to 2009 with my Venti Drip in hand. (Please read it, it is worth your time: "The Weight of Glory") This past year has been the most challenging year of my life. The have been highs, but they have been out numbered by the lows. There have been triumphs and success, but with more regularity there have been near misses and pitfalls. The extreme mountain tops have been punctuated by the depths of the proceeding and following valleys. The joys have not been nearly as vivid as the pains.
It is with that in mind that I read this morning. With a honest and challenged heart I poured over Lewis' text. My mind raced to the parallels in my own life and ways in which I have gotten used to "making mud pies" when there is so much more out there. The way in which even as I watched another goal fall by the wayside, another dream be postponed, that I still knew that there was more in store for me than this. "The world's greatest lie" had never seemed so easy to believe. The thought that maybe it was just "time to grow up and stop dreaming so big" was glaring me in the face from every angle.
But some where deep down, somewhere in my innocent heart of hearts, I knew that, though I had never been there, "a holiday at the sea" was still being offered. What I had glimpsed in my journey thus far was only a predictor of things to come, "they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited." The experiences that come along our way, the moments in our lives that we feel truly alive and right, these are just a sampling of what is to come.
"We are far too easily pleased." We settle. We get very comfortable and content in the things that are easy. It is in that ease that complacency is bred. Once fat and happy, it is tough to break that habit and go back out and fight anew. It is in that comfort that dreams and desires are submitted to a sense of order and regularity. The question of "why would we disrupt what we have for a chance at something better?" becomes the prevailing thought. And when comfort and normality have entrenched themselves thoroughly, the likelihood of true growth disappears. The will to strive and to strain and to fight goes dormant and we smile along side everyone else who has picked the same path.
"We are far too easily pleased." It is never too late to get back in the fight. Rocky made 6 movies. Seeing a champ return to the ring, seeing a general come out of retirement, seeing a superstar athlete un-retire; everyone loves that story line. Everyone loves the chance to watch someone who was great be great again. That is what a new year brings, the chance to shake off the dust, clear out the cobwebs, and step back into the fight. Not for a quick knockout punch, not for a sprint, but for good. To find ways to keep our minds, bodies, and souls in shape for and engaged in the pursuit of our Personal Legend, "the calling with which we have been called."
It is indeed the road less traveled, but it is the road that I choose. It is the chance to never stop working toward the glory that awaits. Not only in this life, for that glory is fleeting, but in this life and the life everlasting. "We we do in life echoes in eternity."