I found this book from an old bookstore some time ago, and how C.S. Lewis saw Christianity piqued my interest. Whether you believe in Christianity or not, I find C.S. Lewis’s descriptions of the sincere Christian and his beliefs as accurate, very insightful, and eloquently worded. (I admire written eloquence because it’s something I would like to do as well.) Even more than my admiration for his simple eloquence is this: I believe what he has said as well, and I would have penned the same had I the skill to do so.
A difference between Christians and non-Christians
“The Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. [Other people] hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or–if they think there is not–at least they hope to deserve approval from good men.
“But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because [the roof] is bright, but [the roof] becomes bright because the sun shines on it.”
For a Christian to do good because he is reflecting the Light that is inside of him….that God will make us good because He loves us…? Beautiful. I never thought of it that way before…but, really, when I truly want to do good things to others, it’s because I’ve experienced “good” already, and I wanted to share it with others. In a way, it’s a way to show gratitude for that “good” that I’ve received. I forgive because I was forgiven. I’m patient because someone showed patience to me. I love because someone loved me. I serve because someone served me. I ought to reflect the good that’s been given to me. And when I recognize that the good that I have received actually comes from God, then He continues to shed His love onto me…and I’m encouraged to keep going.
Choosing our side, and when to do it
“Why is God landing in this enemy-occupied world in disguise and starting a sort of secret society to undermine the devil? Why is He not landing in force, invading it? Is it that He is not strong enough?
“Well, Christians think He is going to land in force; we do not know when. But we can guess why He is delaying. He wants to give us the chance of joining His side freely.
“God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realise what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage, the play is over.
“God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else–something it never entered your head to conceive–comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left?
“For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down [once] it has become impossible to stand up.
“That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have [already] chosen, whether we realised it before or not.
“Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last for ever. We must take it or leave it.”
I know there are those who either don’t believe in Jesus Christ, find it difficult to believe that He’s a God, or have their own reasons for not doing so. That’s okay. I just found it quite bold of him to say it the way he did….that when it comes time for Christ to come, that will not be the time for us to choose sides. It’ll be the time we’ll realize the side we’ve already chosen. Now is our time to evaluate where the desires of our hearts truly are: in the things of this world—things that rot, break, or are easily stolen, or in things of longer-lasting value….of things that matter most. I’m sure there are people who’d rather say, “I’d rather not decide or think about it” or “I’m not the spiritual type”, and would try to skirt that very choice. Somehow, there’s a fear lurking behind such statements…it’s a fear of seeing oneself truthfully…because deep inside each one of us still burns the question, “What if it’s true?”
I have a friend who fathered a son when he was about 17 years of age and gave him up for adoption back then. I don’t know how long he’s been watching his son on Facebook, but he told me that he’s been watching him grow for the past few years. Just recently, he made contact with his son and now is half nervous, half excited to reconnect with his son for the very first time…in person. I can tell that he loves his son and is happy with him and his development so far (his son is now 17, graduating from high school). However, he’s unsure of how this reunion will turn out, but he wishes that it will be well-received.
I’ve never experienced not knowing who my father was or where I came from. I’m blessed to have that knowledge with me. What would it be like to enter this world as a baby and growing up as an orphan, not knowing where you came from or who your parents were? All you have are their characteristics…their weaknesses and strengths…embedded into your DNA, now manifesting themselves through your behavior, your thinking, your mannerisms, and your physical characteristics. And then, what would it be like to receive word that your parent is now coming over to visit you?
In our case, we are not orphans in the sense that God has abandoned us in this world to fend for ourselves. We have just forgotten where we came from, why we came here, and from whom we came. God just wants to give us that chance to choose, to want, to be with Him. And as Christians, as much as we would like to see Him come, He’s holding off that final glorious moment…to give us that chance to discover Him, and to willingly choose to be on His side…instead of being compelled, defeated, to join Him at that last day. The people of God are people who want to be like Him, want to be with Him, and want it badly enough to work on it now…while there’s still time to do so.
And when He comes…what kind of a reunion do we want to have with Him?