This morning I was in the ohana (a Hawaiian name for “family room”) getting a cup of coffee, this cozy and welcoming little room being located close to our condominium. Every morning Rick – our host – makes Kona. The smell of the coffee was wonderful, deep and rich.
A minute or two later I was returning to our place, walking past the pool, and just luxuriating in the warm, fragrant air, listening to the Mina birds chirping and turtle doves cooing. The sun was just peeking over the West Maui mountains, causing the clouds to glow light yellows and oranges. Almost heaven.
A man I had never met came up the path leading to the ohana, heading for the coffee pot I had just left, and he greeted me. “Happy Easter.” I replied, “He is risen!”
I’m back in our place, sitting on our lanai, and my son just pointed toward the ocean. “Rainbow,” was all he said.
This joy that is welling up within me is so pleasurable, so intense. And I wonder, “Why do we concentrate so much on the problem of pain, and never wrestle with the problem of pleasure?”
Philip Yancey asks, “If atheists insist there is no God because of all the pain and suffering in this world, why aren’t they held accountable for the ‘problem of pleasure?’”
“Should not atheists have an equal obligation to explain the origin of pleasure in a world of randomness and meaninglessness?” he writes, meaning that if Christians must defend the existence of God because there are so many painful experiences in life, shouldn’t atheists have to defend their beliefs because there are so many pleasurable experiences, too?
Why is sex fun? “Reproduction surely doesn’t require pleasure,” Yancey goes on. “Some animals simply split in half to reproduce … and … why is eating enjoyable? Plants and animals manage to obtain their quota of nutrients without the luxury of taste buds. Why are there colors?” All good questions.
Back to Easter morning on Maui. As I look around, “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the earth itself puts God’s creative genius on display,” says David, the song writer of ancient Israel. (Psalm 19) I get to enjoy all that I see and taste and feel because there is a God in heaven who created me to enjoy creation.
I’m a happy camper, and a joy-filled human being today!
Jesus is risen indeed.
Think about it.
(By the way, I took the picture above last night … looking out of the Pacific, toward Lanai. Wow!)