Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Trail of Pebbles (Choices) Leading Me Back Home

People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, 'If you keep a lot of rules I'll reward you, and if you don't I'll do the other thing.' I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.
C.S. Lewis in Joyful Christian

   That last line makes me think of the Christian life as a journey of choices. Lewis says that with each choice we are progressing one direction or the other. I stop to consider, "Which way am I going?" What about you?
   The Brothers Grimm told a story with similar imagery. It was the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. On two separate occasions the children are led away from the house and out into woods for evil intentions. We all remember the second trip, when the bread crumbs Hansel leaves behind are eaten by the birds. Before that, though, Hansel is able to leave behind small white pebbles that remain in place and lead them both back safely to their loving Father.
   We often think of the Christian journey as our attempts to find a place we have never been. Some call it heaven. But I am coming to believe that the biblical record is more like this fairy tale. The choices we make that resonate with God's desires are like these pebbles that bring us not to a new place but back home. We don't gain heaven by our own efforts, God is calling us back home through grace. Could it be this is why the closing scene from Revelation 21 describes a Garden much like the one we chose to exit in Genesis 3?
   A reminder: the Season of Lent is a time repentance, self-examination and reflection,  and preparation for the coming of Easter. Spend some time in silent meditation this week considering the trail God has left us to find our way back home. Peace, Scott

1 comment:

  1. I miss listening to you preach=[ you always have something awesome to say!