Monday, October 1, 2012

Wise and foolish men

"Bridge-players tell me that there must be some money on the game 'or else people won't take it seriously.' Apparently it's like that. Your bid -- for God or no God, for a good God or the Cosmic Sadist, for eternal life or nonentity -- will not be serious if nothing much is staked on it. And you will never discover how serious it was until the stakes are raised horribly high, until you find that you are playing not for counters or for sixpences but for every penny you have in the world. Nothing less will shake a man -- or at any rate a man like me -- out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself."

-- C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

What seems like cruel, ceaseless punishment is the torture that makes me grasp the infancy of my faith and the flimsy foundation it rests on -- not of rock but quickly erodible sand. When I'm broken and weak, desperate for any sort of sign You haven't completely abandoned me, may my thirst not be subdued by self-pity but relieved by and made more desirous of Your incomprehensible grace.

In other words, it's time to grow up. Time to move on to the solid food of the Gospel and discard that Gerber Baby tasteless mush I've heretofore been subsisting on.

Bold. Bold. Bold. I must be bold. Trying to legitimize my weakness by dismissing it as reasonable is even worse than disobedience. It's willful denial. Please use me not just despite my inadequacies, but precisely because of them -- so glory will be returned only to Your name.

"This people honors me with their lips
But their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:8-9

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