Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Final Epiphany Epiphany? Maybe Even Two?

Was reading up some stuff in A Guide to Prayer and came across two passages in some C.S. Lewis materials that seemed to connect with my blog here.

The first is from Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer.  In that, Lewis writes,
We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with him.  He walks everywhere incognito.  And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate.  The real labour is to remember, to attend.  In fact, to come awake.  Still more, to remain awake. (emphasis added)

That just kind of touched me since my blog tagline is about my efforts to stay awake spiritually.  Or as Lewis puts it, "to remain awake".  That is one idea that came to me when I really started to get more serious on my path to God.  Being a Christian is about more than being awakened to the existence of God and his saving grace.  Once we stir, we have to work to not fall back asleep, not even to nap.  I know there are many stories and passages in the Bible cautioning us to stay awake, some even told by Jesus.  That was part of what drew me to the concept.  I'm sure I'll write about that some more as I run across these passages (or I could pull out my journal where I made a bunch of notes on it).

Speaking of my journal, I'll briefly note that I am struggling with an organization problem.  I currently have ideas coming in from three different places - Sunday School (mainly the Guide to Prayer), church services, and now The Prepared Christian class.  I'm wondering if I need to somehow come up with a solution that would put all this material in one place.  Of course, that kind of calls for an electronic solution.  I'm somewhat resistant to that as the act of writing by hand is enjoyable and in some ways, forces me to slow down a bit and give a little more attention to my thoughts.  Been thinking about switching to a larger size Moleskin, but still not sure.

OK, back to the C.S. Lewis connections.  The second is from The Joyful Christian.  The passage, if I can summarize, is about an individual struggling with an experience he had with God and how that fits in with "religion" and theology.  The individual felt like he no longer needed those.  Lewis presents an interesting analogy of a person who takes a walk on a beach and then looks at a map of an ocean.  While the personal viewing of the ocean is very powerful, it does not help one get anywhere the way a map does.  Lewis notes that one benefit of the map is that it has had input from many different people who have all had their experiences and that is now combined to produce the map.  As we studied in our class, one consideration regarding the authority of The Bible is the number of people who have helped write it (over many centuries, cultures, languages, etc.).  So in a way, The Bible is similar to the map in helping us understand where to get to and how to get there.  And it has the benefit of all these shared insights as opposed to a single person having written it.

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