Friday, March 11, 2011

Serious Business

This was too long to tweet, so I slapped it in here.

In my opinion (and my opinion counts for a lot, since I have read almost every CS Lewis book, essay, speech, etc. in existence.) this is one of the most beautiful, hopeful, insightful passages from any of Lewis' works.

Take this in, as it a truth freely offered:

"I do not think that the life of Heaven bears any analogy to play or dance in respect of frivolity. I do think that while we are in this ‘valley of tears,’ cursed with labour, hemmed round with necessities, tripped up with frustrations, doomed to perpetual plannings, puzzlings, and anxieties, certain qualities that must belong to the celestial condition have no chance to get through, can project no image of themselves, except in activities which, for us here and now, are frivolous.

For surely we must suppose the life of the blessed to be an end in itself, indeed The End: to be utterly spontaneous; to be the complete reconciliation of boundless freedom with order–with the most delicately adjusted, supple, intricate, and beautiful order?

How can you find any image of this in the ‘serious’ activities either of our natural or of our (present) spiritual life? Either in our precarious and heart-broken affections or in the Way which is always, in some degree, a via crucis?

No, Malcolm. It is only in our ‘hours-off,’ only in our moments of permitted festivity, that we find an analogy. Dance and game are frivolous, unimportant down here; for ‘down here’ is not their natural place. Here, they are a moment’s rest from the life we were place here to live.
But in this world everything is upside down. That which , if it could be prolonged here, would be a truancy, is likest that which in a better country is the End of ends. Joy is the serious business of Heaven.”

C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcom

I am so overwhelmed and humbled by the weight of the cross recently. How this end that Lewis speaks of (and I believe he speaks true) is made possible by the Stength and Determination of Christ's death and, subsequently, His grave-defying resurrection. What could such a compelling Love ever ask of me that I shouldn't freely give? His commitment defies all earthly notions. He's after our Joy. It can seem cruel sometimes to our finite minds when He tells us to give everything up for His Glory, but his delight in our sacrifice and the mutual delight between Creator and created that results from it is so heavy, beautiful, and REAL, that I can't deny all existence is wrapped up in what happened on Calvary. Oh God, thank you for Jesus, the One who beckons me come and die--with the only end being to breathe me into Life.