Our culture has failed precisely because it is a secular culture. A secular culture is a culture reduced to a thing or a function. Typically, at least at first, people are delighted to find themselves living in such a culture. It’s wonderful to have all these things coming our way without having to worry about any purpose for them beyond our own pleasure. And it’s wonderful to have this incredible freedom to do so much without bothering about whether or not what we do has any meaning. But after a few years of this, our delight diminishes, and we find ourselves lonely with all things and bored with all the freedom.
Our first response is to get more and do more, because those were the very things that made us so happy to begin with. But after a few years of this, we find that we aren’t happier. And we’re left scratching our heads. Even as Christians, we’re left scratching our heads.
Why? Well, it isn’t because the Christian Bible has pages missing; it’s because we haven’t seen all there is on the pages we already have. It isn’t another book we need but better attention to the Book we already have. It isn’t more knowledge we need but better vision to see what has already been revealed.
That’s when our desires will change. That’s when we experience true and lasting delight. And that’s when we’ll be able to pray with the psalmist, ”You’re all I want in heaven! You’re all I want on earth!” (verse 25)
~ Eugene Peterson’s contemplation ( Psalm 73)2