“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”
-C.S. Lewis The Abolition of Man
Lewis puts it into perspective once more for me. We (as a society) take aim off of how virtue is to happen and simply ask that it happen. We render the outcome impossible but continue to clamor for the qualities. We have great “intellects” in this country who tell us where to go and what to do. However, it is not that their head is so big as much as their chest is so small. Men in this country do not honor or value, honor and value. Shortcuts are taken and men press on hoping to reach the end prize. When they reach the end, they are surprised when they lack integrity.
We are who we are by our hearts (and our hearts can only be made good through Christ). “For by his intellect he is mere spirit and by his appetite mere animal” (Lewis, The Abolition of Man).
There is no short road to joy. There is no other way to peace. Love cannot come from anything or anyone else. There is but one answer to all of life’s great wonders. Yes, there are cycles to life and even without God you may feel a good time or feel as if you don’t need Him. But this feeling is nothing more than emotion, happiness is temporal and cannot last. In every relationship there are nears and fars; times where you will feel unshakably close and time where the distance seems insurmountable. All of life is a cyclical.
I don’t know what I am actually trying to say. I think I mean to say that there is no secret or trick to becoming fulfilled. I find myself lately hearing the same thing over and over from God. “All I need to do is worship.” I begin to panic as I don’t think this is enough, or it’s not new enough from God. Then I hear the comforting voice remind me of His chosen people wandering through the desert. He gave them fresh manna everyday. The manna was the same everyday but it was fresh. He reminded me that He can give me the same thing or tell me the same thing and that is still God. Then He tells me that true worship with Him is all that I need, that it is fresh. That is God’s promise to us, that He will provide for whatever we need, fresh manna everyday.
There is no shortcut, time with God. As with any relationship, the more time you spend the better you will get to know that person. It is a simple thing, like my love for Him, just spend time with Him. Give Him everything you have at that moment and you will see and (much more excitingly) feel your chest begin to grow. The people we want to be, the people our culture longs to see (a person with drive, self-sacrificing, creative or simply “good”) can only be made through time with the Father.
Lastly, as I know this has become to laborious, test this. If you do not believe that simply spending time with God will make you into the man or woman you desire to be, try it. Genuinely lay yourself open before the Lord, with no precepts of what that time ought to look like, and see that He will not change you. Every encounter with Him is magnificent and life-changing.
He is the way.