Think back to when you were a kid, do you recall ever saying that something or another was; "The best thing ever"? Do you remember what that thing was? If you are male, I can hazard a guess or two as to how you estimated things. If you are female, anything I have to say on the topic (very likely) will appear as a caricature (at best) here.
In the first place then, things like guns, bombs and tanks are going to be tough to dislodge from the guy-half of the equation. The basic premise of "Boom" is pretty central here. Oh sure, the "phasers" that Captain Kirk carried around were cool enough, but way cooler yet were the "photon torpedoes" occasionally launched by the Enterprise. For some peculiar reason, they both made noise (in outer space?), and the noisier the better! It's just that the "torpedoes" generated a better sound...I mean, let's get realistic here!
So we are linking "noise" with "weapon" in our early gambit to identify the guy version of "the best thing ever" (abbreviated as 'b.t.e'. in the rest of this C.P.E.). Somewhere along the line, the guy version of the b.t.e. shifts from "boom-kapow" to "gee-whiz-zippy-ow" (so to speak). The hot-rod, becomes a "fast digitized cyber doohickey of indeterminate function. so the, nowadays, (as adults) we suppose that the grown-up idea of same, would involve some terra-byte munching thing-a-ma-bob? And that would be, very likely, one of those modern devices which costs about $400.00, and one in which you never really do figure out what ALL of it's functions are even for? That's my guess. So, let's leave the present for a while, and reset the question back to our starting point.
The feminine version of the b.t.e., instead of being an intense interest in blowing things up (like normal folks!), seems to involve tables, and tiny dishes. Dolls (?) are set in chairs for a "meal". So, the little girl b.t.e. kinda works out as "lunch-with-stuffed-people"? Oh. that's not all. It is an imaginary-lunch! These fem-people are fixated also (I think) on pastel colored ponies as well. Not satisfied with wrong-colored animals, these creatures (the ponies I mean) also possess abnormally large eyes, and an excessive hair situation, such that; both mane and tail are out of control, growth-wise... As this devolves, it tends (we infer) toward a "thing" for unicorns. The "one-horn thing" may well prove to be some sort of quasi-Freudian gig (which I'd rather not discuss here). But in any case, unicorns are somehow significant for many a girl. And if they just happen to wrong-colored ones, so much the better!
As girls turn into women, they go from merely opaque, to entirely incomprehensible. The b.t.e. at adult female level; features intense interests in: A. Their own faces, especially with a view to "not wrinkling". B. Rocks...as in gemstone type jewel stuff. C. Being personally pampered...because they "deserve it". D Personal appearance (we mean; clothing-wise here) as it is appraised by...other women... E. Dancing, thatis to watch other women dance? F. But far and away, the premier valuation of the adult woman is in "Relating". Well, that's not quite accurate. It's not that they are so awfully eager to talk...to (let's say) YOU (for instance). Instead, they would like to talk with their girl friends about the POSSIBILITY of relating (in the future?). So, it's (kind of) a matter of being on-the-verge of relating, or being well-nigh unto it, so as to (thus) enter a lively discussion of this nearly-almost-relating...
So, if the adult version of the guy b.t.e. is some kind of big-wow digital device, which does inexplicable things, then the adult gal version is some kind of over priced resort hotel where they, (for a hefty fee); place this mud guck on your face (or is it lemon slices?), and inform you that the way to lose weight is: "To work more and eat less"...Stuff like face-lifts, diamonds, and designer gowns these fit into the best thing ever category, for our friends, the fems, or their version of it, that is.
Regardless of how badly skewed my version of the b.t.e. finally proves to be, there remains a "human" ideal of the b.t.e., which we all are aware of. So far, we might amalgamate the two halves, to yield a joint effort at b.t.e., and if so; does this produce the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, painted pink, equipped with not only fighter-bombers, armed to the teeth, but jacuzzis and ball-room dance floors! Do we get a warship with scads of hellfire missiles, yet tastefully decorated with potted-plants and parasols? That ship (having a giant unicorn horn on one end?) possessing top notch restaurants, theatres, as well as 17 inch plate steel (to defeat missile assaults)...And however you picture your version of it, (the b.t.e. we mean), think for a moment of those people that you know (or know-of), who "enjoy" this stuff. Those who "deserve only the very best", those who have the toys, the gizmos, the cars, the shiny rocks, the seventeen face-lifts, (you name it) are these happy people?
Have you noticed? As the new wears off, the grump sets in. These folk who "have it all" are sorely lacking in...manners, the ability to give thanks, the ability to be satisfied..with anything! They have "stuff", but no real friends! Those feeding upon the b.t.e. in life, keep requiring larger doses, and as the "best" dose increases; the person becomes "worse". The b.t.e. proves (over time) to be the very worst thing you could have, in that it ruins ...YOU! The stuff is poison. It makes you mean, cheap, petty. Like a mirage, miles-wide, and a fraction of an inch "deep", the more you eat, the more you want; that's what this food does for you. So, we come to affirm (by negation) about half of Jesus Christ's view on this.
You know the drill, all that upside-down talk, "the first shall be last, the greatest shall be the servant of all" type of stuff. We balk at an outright endorsement (like His) which would say; "blessed are the poor". But we are able to (somewhat) infer that "Woe to you rich" might well be worth a second thought or two. Even we can notice that the "good-stuff" of life is a stealth toxin of some type. Rather than going "the whole nine yards" (whatever that means) and saying (with Him) "You cannot serve God and mammon", we keep trying to find some half-way house, a "medium" setting, halfway betwixt enjoying "the nice things", and tossing into the mix some "spiritual" stuff, for good measure. Halfway measures just irritate both sides, and it really just amounts to a lowering of our sights. An amalgamated, dual irritation...
Such an amalgam does not qualify as an example of b.t.e. We have lost sight of the best thing ever. We are dealing (here) with damage-containment, or being satisfied with merely not letting the plague run wild. The b.t.e. (itself) seems to be permanently out of reach, in that as we pursue "the desirable", such an effort makes us (personally) undesirable! Or as we attempt to "identify" the b.t.e., such work turns me into a "stranger" (and an ugly one at that!).
Now the truly revolting aspect of this mess is that as a Christian believer, I'd like (very much) to congratulate myself on "choosing the better portion", so that I am free to turn around and lecture you on doing the same...yawn. In reality, I chose right, simply "because" I ran short on bad options of my own! It's not so much that "I chose health", as I was forced to drop cigarettes, to shed beer, ditch the fried chicken; potato chips, and hot chocolate, in that; they were just too damned heavy! We "put down our burdens", not because we are so very clever as to have realized what a fine idea that would be, with a view to holiness or something. No, it was clearly a case of exhaustion. I carried them as far as I could, and ran out of gas!
This is all very insulting if we get right down to it, I mean here; insulting to your Maker. If I offered you an invitation to the lake, we could get back to the b.t.e.! Hey, we will barbecue, let's not forget the sunbathing, the jacuzzi, the jet-ski, the fireworks! Did we recall the big dance, the special party (just in your honor!)?...Well, it's either that; or you can stay in solitary confinement, eat bread and water, and sleep on the concrete... It's kinda up to you. And your answer here? "Can you give me some time to think it over before I answer?"! Wait! You want "time to think it over?". Note the active insult to the host,... ME!
Well, we do this, (and far worse) not a 100 times, not 10,000 times, but more (?), to Him and we never even notice that we are doing so! "Would you care to come join Me? Only the very best wine, joy, gladness, and light!", says He. "This is even better than jet-skis?", says me. "Either that, or you can spend an eternity in a garbage-dump which is on fire"; says He. And we have the nerve to say, "Can you give me some time to think it over?"?.
We are brain-damaged. Think of Mark Twain. Compare the world of Huck and Tom. Which would you rather "have", that imaginary world, or dinner with it's author? We are asking for "time to choose"? And if we go unassisted, we will always get this wrong. We will (stupidly) think that the b.t.e. is a "thing" or some pile of "stuff"; and densely continue to "not notice" that He has not (yet) "taken offense" at our rudeness. The True best thing ever, isn't a "thing". It's a "He", and He (so far) has worked Humbly(!) to patiently draw us back to sanity, to the reality that He is King, and stuff is stuff.
In that real world, it is He who glitters, it is He all awesome and powerful, He the True Drink, He the True Food. We will never, (of ourselves), get this part right. To "embrace poverty", we reject our own idiotic assessment of "holding onto stuff now", (as our private version of the b.t.e.), so to embrace the plain sanity of "being held onto then", by Him, The Best Thing Ever, in Person!
We did not embrace Him out of "good taste". "Good taste" is what we used, in order to define our version of the b.t.e., and that misery has served only to make we-ourselves undesirable! Simply, we ran out of bad habits, and He was kind enough to not reject us. I tried as hard as I could, and arrived at His door, broke, exhausted, blind and dead. He restored me! Why? For His honor, we gather...we have become a kind of "trophy" for His home.
The best thing ever, is that in "my righteousness," I swung the hammer, which drove the spike which pinned His arm down that day...and He did NOT "hold it against me"? Face it, He is the Best Ever, Author of things, Life (in Person) for the dead, Hope of the hopeless, Friend to the friendless. This is the part where you come in...