Friday, August 9, 2013

Superbia and Other Demons

 "Be sure it is not for nothing that the Landlord has knit our hearts so closely to time and place- to one friend rather than another and one shire more than all the land."
-The Pilgrims Regress, CS Lewis

Lately, I've been struggling with realizing I insist on having my life my own way. I also freely admit, this post is heavily influenced by the book (I know, another one- right?) The Pilgrim's Regress, by CS Lewis- if you haven't read it already, seriously- get off your internet and go buy it and read it. In the book, the main character, John sets out from Puritania to chase a deep Desire, an Island he saw once from far off- and during his pilgrimage he journeys through many different philosophies and realms of thought- all of which were like a tell-tale similar progress which I went through before becoming a Christian. The struggles are real- the pains, the sorrows, the joys and the implications are all very real- as substantial as your own heart and soul and dream.

And this is how the book struck me so hard as I finished it this morning- living here in Hannibal, Missouri now, I struggle with the notion of lack. And now I wonder just how influenced by Mammon I really am- I grew up with such a different life expectation about how I am living now verses what I feel I ought to be living. Economy aside- the whole 20-something rationalization conversation aside- suspend the whole disbelief of how we're living now aside (if possible): I crave the respect I feel I've earned, I demand the admiration and love of other admirable and loving people I expect. And it's horrible.

It's Horrible.


You may be wondering, well, Ryan, HOW is it horrible- isn't all this perfectly natural?? 

Why yes, in fact, I respond, and that only further describes how it is Horrible. It's naturally Horrible. Dont we, when we really soul search- really dig down beneath a whole lot of personal shields, excuses, lies and rationalizing and plausible deniability- vaults with lasers and tripwires and snares and glue and threats- everything- all of it- we feel we ought to- I mean, we shouldnt even have to even say it now, gosh- we deserve to be creatures- men and women- of our own making- taking pride in who we have made ourselves to be- captains of our own ships- engineers of our own chosen destinies?

This is horrible because we are to let everything go- all of it- release it all over to Jesus- who knows the plans he has for us- plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. To live this way with God who delights DELIGHTS in us is to live in a constant faith. Not a jump- still fearful- still untrusting- but a DIVE- a full-on-committed-it-may-hurt-but-we-are-compelled sort of dive right into this new life we are called up to live. We are not to be a sort of vampire- feasting of His blood and sacrifice only to perversly eternally extend our own lust. Until all which remains are the pearly white bones of Superbia- a creature wholly herself. A skeleton with flesh- a creature almost entirely of her own making- a proud, desolate captain of her own ship- the ultimate engineer of her own chosen fate.

Christ calls us higher and onwards towards something else- 
It is in the humble and the folksy- some innocence found in far off tales and children's stories- a power in weakness and surrender. In living this life not with a grudge over the seeming fated hand dealt to us- but a grin over what we have left behind- a life lived in joyful surrender to how Christ loves us, a trust which goes deeper than the mere word or sound- He loves us and really does know the best for us and has placed us, each as we are, where we are, when we are with Reason and Purpose.

"You will not sleep, if you lie there a thousand years, until you have opened your hand and yielded that which is not ours to give or to withhold. You may think you are dead, but it will only be a dream; you may think you have come awake, but it will still be only a dream. Open your hand, and you will sleep indeed- then wake indeed." 

- George MacDonald

And do you not know know that whatsoever does not first die cannot be fully raised to the fullness and goodness of new life? This means all of you. Your heart, your soul, your will, your desire- ALL of you. That which does not first die cannot be fully raised.

You have been made in the Sacred image of God, who is making you holy, even like him. Trust him. Trust him with everything you've got. Only then will you be fully raised- a shadow now- the full reality later.

God Bless-

Like what you read? Join in with your own insights, stories and art- send them to Thanks and God bless -Ryan

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