Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Great Divorce

C.S. Lewis had more talent of writing in his little finger than I have in my entire body. The Great Divorce was one book that especially captured the vastness of Lewis' creativity and imagination. Perhaps, one of the greatest allegoric tales ever written, The Great Divorce, put simply, is about how every human being must choose which world they desire to belong to.

I especially loved this book because of what it symbolized, the need for each person to get off the fence and choose which master they will to follow. One of the greatest follies of Christians today, including myself, is a desire, whether admitted or not, to be accepted by both God and the present world. To give an image, picture a man who is stationed between the world and heaven. His arms are desperately stretched and strained, reaching for both, and thus missing both. This book even inspired a song I attempted to write and in one part, I referenced this exact picture.
"You sweat and toil, extend yourself far more than most
In stretching for two worlds, you forfeit claims to both..."
When we attempt to please both God and the world, we end up pleasing neither. Every time I find myself attempting such an impossible task, I think of what Jesus tells His disciples in Matthew 6:24, "
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other." Either we will love this world and be a part of it, or we will love God and "not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind..."

So really, what is all this rambling about? Actually, I'm talking more to myself than any other. I have the overwhelming desire to please God, but at the same time I desire the friendship of this world, and to be frank, this is what God considers adultery. We cannot have our cakes and eat them too, we can't sit on the fence, we can't serve to masters. We must have it or eat it, we must commit ourselves to one side or the other, we must serve one or serve the other. God did not allow us to have it both ways. He did not leave this option to us.

If we have submitted our lives to Christ, we must submit our entirety to Him. Either He is Lord of all, or He isn't Lord at all. Be overwhelmed and passionate about the same desire that Lewis describes when he says these beautiful words:
"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."
We were made for another world, a better world. To choose this world would be settling for less, much less. We all must choose, and none can escape the choice. Divorce this world and submit your all to the Lord who guarantees life here and even better, life beyond.


Anonymous said...

I really want to get this book! Theres so many great quotes that i've read already from it. I am happy to see you investing your life and mind in the "high skies" of Christian thought when there exists much spiritual bankruptcy in our day.

Grace and Peace


Ashley said...

You definitely should Daniel. There's a few things that may be a bit questionable but I just kept in mind that though it was allegoric, it was fictional as well. Thanks for your encouragement as well, I appreciate it.

Anna said...

I should read this as well. As much as I enjoy Lewis's writings, I haven't really read very many of them. I really enjoyed your thoughts on it as well.

Ashley said...

Oh yes, I highly recommend it Anna, but like I told Daniel, it is a bit off in some areas. Nothing to make you blush though. Thanks for stopping by.