We have been convinced to pursue the false prize.
The one that dissipates as soon as you grasp it, then reappears a little further down the road, forever out of reach. And just as the traveler goes mad in the desert seeing mirage after mirage, he never finds the oasis he seeks. For the rest of his days he grabs hold of what does not exist and in despair looks ahead, only to see the prize does not belong to him. He must make a little more money. He must try a new diet. He must replace his wife with a new one.
The false prize appeals to our amnesia, the anti-image, but this prize is trumpeted by the devils who surround us.
Money to buy things that make our lives more complicated, acceptance for whatever perversions have a grip on your throat, fame that prevents us from sleeping soundly, adoration from behind digital screens, women designed on operating tables who still cannot satisfy the desires of man’s heart--for the heart was not formed out of the values of this age but out of the values of eternity, and thus only eternal things can satisfy it.
Riches rot in storehouses, acceptance of perversion is like a poison that destroys our minds, fame moves like a plague of locusts to devour one field after another, adoration a fire that burns hot for a moment then turns cold and cannot be brought back to life, the women grow old just like you.
So what is the prize we ought to chase?
None other than the one that was given to us from the very beginning, the one that lives inside of us now. The love of God, received freely and given freely. The prize is our ability to do so, man, woman, powerful enough to bear the image of God and receive the fullness of his love and to hold both as we live out our days, powerful enough to create more image bearers and disburse this love upon others. This is the gift. Our ability to carry eternal things. Our ability to give them to those around us who have forgotten that they, too, already have the prize. Man’s prize is that he is a conduit of heaven.
And so who is to blame for placing the false prize before us?
Is it ourselves? Is it the media? Is it dark forces which roam the earth? Who stands to gain from enslaving people to a prize that does not exist? You will recognize them by their words and actions.
Abandon the false prize and you cannot be controlled.
Abandon the false prize and you will be free.