“Idealism can be talked, and even felt; it cannot be lived. It became patently absurd to go on thinking of ‘Spirit’ as either ignorant of, or passive to, my approaches. Even if my own philosophy were true, how could the initiative lie on my side? My own analogy, as I now first perceived, suggested the opposite: if Shakespeare and Hamlet could ever meet, it must be Shakespeare’s doing. Hamlet could initiate nothing. Perhaps, even now, my Absolute Spirit still differed in some way from the God of religion. The real issue was not, or not yet, there. The real terror was that if you seriously believed in even such a ‘God’ or ‘Spirit’ as I admitted, a wholly new situation developed. As the dry bones shook and came together in that dreadful valley of Ezekiel’s, so now a philosophical theorem, cerebrally entertained, began to stir and heave and throw off its gravecloths, and stood upright and became a living presence. I was to be allowed to play at philosophy no longer. It might, as I say, still be true that my ‘Spirit’ differed in some way from ‘the God of popular religion’. My Adversary waived the point. It sank into utter unimportance. He would not argue about it. He only said, ‘I am the Lord’; ‘I am that I am’; ‘I am.”
Excerpted from, “Surprised by Joy,” by C.S. Lewis
It is the work of the Lion. It seems to be sinking in now, after all this time. I suppose it was always there; a little worm in my brain whispering that this would come, but now here it is, and I find myself wondering if this is the place of the rich young man of Matthew 19, Luke 18, and Mark 10.
Jesus loved him and said, “…*then* come and follow me.”
The “God of popular religion” has given me a lot. He’s given me a schedule and he’s given me a plan and he’s given me much to think about and talk about. He’s given me direction. A lot of that came with a cost. It came with the cost of some relationships, some time, some money. It came with the cost of self-denial. It came with some guilt. It came with some joy, too. And it came with hope.
But now he asks of me something different. Something bigger.
That shabby old cat that wandered through my house, sniffing through my things and pawing at my closet door looks different now. The vim of youth has wiped the grey from his mane and tightened the muscles in his now-broadened shoulders. His tail whips and curls. His belly rumbles a new and captivating and frightening song.
Something is changing and my playmate who gave me so much and asked so little of me has grown into a King who calls me to a different field. It is settling uneasy.