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Lewis on Desiring God

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Notes & Transcripts

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.4

It was when I was happiest that I longed most.… The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing … to find the place where all the beauty came from.5

The tragedy of the world is that the echo is mistaken for the Original Shout. When our back is to the breathtaking beauty of God, we cast a shadow on the earth and fall in love with it. But it does not satisfy.

The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; 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 yet visited.

John Piper, Desiring God (Sisters, Or.: Multnomah Publishers, 2003), 292-93.

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