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What Is Your Mud Pie?

It is one of C.S. Lewis’ most powerful and most enduring illustrations: An ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. It is a vivid illustration and one that is simple enough to see in the lives of other people—those people who settle for lesser pleasures when the greatest of all pleasures awaits. But I, at least, find it far more difficult to see in my own life. You may find it just as difficult.

It is worth asking: What is your mud pie?

Is it money? You will never have a bank account rich enough to satisfy you.

Is it food? You will never have a meal filling enough to satisfy you.

Is it pleasure? You will never have a sexual experience gratifying enough to satisfy you.

Is it popularity? You will never have enough friends to satisfy you.

Is it stuff? You will never accumulate enough possessions to satisfy you.

Is it pornography? You will never find a person naked enough to satisfy you.

Is it control? You will never have enough authority to satisfy you.

Is it leisure? You will never have enough rest to satisfy you.

Is it success? You will never achieve enough to satisfy you.

It is freedom? You will never be lawless enough to satisfy you.

And in the light of all those questions and the certainty of the answers, let’s go back to Lewis.

If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. 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 a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

Image Credit: Shutterstock


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