They have Pulled Down Deep Heaven on their Heads

“They have Pulled Deep Heaven on their Heads.” So titled is chapter 13 in C S Lewis’ third book in his prophetic science fiction series. In this book, That Hideous Strength, Lewis recounts the efforts of a seemingly civil society of philanthropists to simultaneously enhance the buildings and grounds of a Private British College while they furtively seek to unearth the remains of Merlyn, the Medieval Wizard said to possess mysterious powers. It was those powers that they would harness and wield to their own purposes.

What they unearthed was not exactly what they had intended: quite the opposite in fact. In resurrecting Merlyn and his powers they inadvertently pulled down deep heaven on their heads.

How often do our plans and motivations pull down deep heaven on our heads? A desire for revenge certainly takes its toll on the begrudged, consuming both resources and creativity. Rage and a bitter spirit do likewise gnaw away at our souls, leaving us less than who we might have been.

But the one that does the most damage is that seething inner hatred of some other group or individual that is never assuaged; rather, it intentionally feeds exclusively on the meat that reinforces its ire, ignoring anything contrary. It’s not just that some of us need to be more right than anyone else. We also have to be able to rub it into those whom we’ve just proven wrong. This is an evil hatred that disdains the other and wishes their utter annihilation. This is the kind of arrogance that will pull down deep heaven, the wrath of God, if you will, on their own heads.

They must believe that their actions will have no consequences; that there is no God in the heavens with whom a reckoning must come. Can their resentment and fury be so unquenchable?!? What realities will bring them contentment, resolution, mercy, or grace? Will they ever be able to forgive those who have done so much wrong to them? Is retribution the only way?

Or is there another? Let me assure you that there is. But it will cost you your soul. You will come out the better man, the better woman for it. But the price is not cheap. Then again, anything of great worth never comes without disproportionate sacrifice.

Maybe it is simply better for things to go on as is, with your spirit seething within, seeking gross retaliation on others. What a glorious existence!

Personally, I would rather sacrifice my soul to be rid of such seething, crazed lunacy.

For what it’s worth,

Gary

the hunter

An “impersonal God”— well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads— better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap— best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband— that is quite another matter… .

            There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion (“Man’s search for God!”) suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that!

            Worse still, supposing He had found us?

~ C.S. LEWIS, Miracles

Many of us (though not all), in searching to define and understand ourselves, come to a point where we consider the possibility of god, or, if you will, God. Such is our nature to search, to explore, to discover more of the mysteries of our inner selves and the vast realm of the universe beyond. Following a path of curiosity in either direction will give rise to questions like—  Is there more than just me? Am I a part of something much greater than I might imagine? Is there something behind the physical universe?

At this point most of us stop thinking. We are too busy with life, work, families, new babies, and sports to have any energy left for such BIG questions. But WHAT IF…?  What if we detected an uneasy sensation within ourselves that there might be someone out there, somewhere, looking for us? This is a sensation worth examining, especially if it becomes a recurring theme in your life. Could it be that there is a Great Hunter, the Great God-Creator Himself, seeking you? If He is, you cannot run, you cannot hide. And you cannot find rest for your soul until He finds you. Maybe you have something He wants? Maybe He’ll have something you want? Or maybe He simply wants to give you something?

Most plausibly,  He wants you to stop your running away from Him in fear and, instead, have a cup of tea with Him. I wonder what that conversation might sound like.

Being hunted by God is not a thing to treat glibly. It is not a trifle. Engage cautiously.

Have a nice week,

Gary

That’s Not Your Story

Story, Gary, Davis, Christian
In C.S. Lewis’ children’s book, The Horse and His Boy, there is an exchange between Aslan, the Lion-God of a mythical (?) land called Narnia, and Shasta, wherein Aslan reveals some of the things he has done. Shasta is stunned and asks, “But what for?” (seeking inside information about his friend Aravis.)  “Child,” said the Voice, “I am telling you your story, not hers.  I tell no one any story but his own.”(p.147)

Stories. We all have them; each one of us. Each story is unlike any other; each one of us different from any other. There may be touch-points, similarities, or surprise commonalities, but we each are still unique. So why is it that we are persistently trying to write or live someone else’s story?!? How do we become so discontent with our story?

Could it be a sense of failure, of never being good enough (for your father or mother); maybe we fear our reality and want to be in someone else’s reality. Or could it be envy— that we want what someone else has and think we deserve it more? Of course, if we are living a miserable life, in a deplorable job, in a dead-end, abusive or bland relationship, almost anyone else’s life would seem more desirable. When we are young we want a story that is epic, heroic, and exciting. Most of us live far less adventurous existences.  Nonetheless, far too many of us, for whatever reasons, lust after a life we do not have; we yearn for a story written for another.

Some of us want to participate in the Grand Story—the Metanarrative. Today, the more common opinion issuing from postChristian oracles is, “There is NO Grand Story! So forget it. Go ahead. Write your own story! Other people’s stories be damned. Steal them if you want!” Not unexpectedly, the more we usurp other people’s stories, the more convoluted and confused we become. We become actors in a theatre, playing which ever role suits us for the moment. But these are not our stories; they are only playacting. Conversely, if we do not return to our story, over time, we will lose sight of how it was meant to be written.

So, what IS your Story? Do you know it? How’s the writing going? Your story is yours, uniquely. But are you also allowing room for other story-writers to place their stories beside yours? Please, for your sake, make sure you read their stories; it will deepen your comprehension of your own story if you do. You will also come to appreciate your place in God’s creation-story far better if you do.

Keep in mind that you are not the only writer in your story. On one level, there are many contributing authors who influence your writing from the side— kids, encouragers, detractors, other visionaries, even those who exacerbate you. Yet on another level, you are also a contributing author to a much bigger Story.

Write sagaciously…, and with vigor!

Have a nice week,

Gary