The thought of ice cream is exciting, but it rarely ends well.

I first learned about “diminishing marginal utility” in economics class and my mind was blown.

The Law of diminishing marginal utility says that as a person increases consumption of something, at some point there is a decline in the utility (usefulness or satisfaction) that a person gets from consuming each additional unit. The first scoop of ice cream tastes the best. Then each scoop satisfies you a little less until you stop your enjoyment completely. Then it starts making you sick. The usefulness of the product is diminishing. This idea is universal and can be applied to every area of our lives.

diminishing-food graphThis is why record labels keep putting out new albums. The first time you hear a song is amazing but if you listen to it over and over you get sick of it (especially radio hits). It’s like we are always getting a little glimpse of perfection but never the full picture (Hans Zimmer movie soundtracks are close).

Everything physical is diminishing. The pyramids will one day fall apart. Our cars will eventually rust. The sun will eventually run out of fuel.  When we are teens we think we are invincible until we hit our 20’s and our bodies start aching. Our bodies will shrink as we age and eventually we will die. It’s like decay is the overall theme of this world. Is their anything that lasts?

“Outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. … So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2nd Cor 4:16)





Paul tells us that we have these dying bodies but inside we have a soul that lasts forever.  How much time do we spend renewing our inside self? The state of our inner self is what really matters.

These small glimpses of paradise will turn into reality. So we press on because we know our souls will live forever, long after this world passes away. We are “citizens of heaven” (Phil 3:20).

In the mean time we live like travellers, squinting at temporary visas, dreaming of the promised land.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev 21)