Thursday, August 21, 2008

Do the Impossible

[M]any people are deterred from seriously attempting Christian chastity because they think (before trying) that it is impossible. But when a thing has to be attempted, one must never think about possibility or impossibility. Faced with an optional question in an examination paper, one considers whether one can do it or not: faced with a compulsory question, one must do the best one can. You may get some marks for a very imperfect answer: you will certainly get none for leaving the question alone. [...] [P]eople quite often do what seemed impossible before they did it. It is wonderful what you can do when you have to. -- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
I go through so much of my day acting as though God's commands to me are, in effect, impossible. Not that they are not logically inconsistent, nor do they violate any laws of physics. I even know of others who succeed in obeying them. No, they are "impossible" because of how flawed my character is. The problem with this supposition is it's not how God sees the situation. I can pout and say "Unfair", but he has more right to say that to me; which one of us was unfairly mocked and tortured, and unfairly died for the other's offenses? Instead, I must ignore how "unfair" it feels, how "impossible" it seems, and do it.

Watching my daughter learn to walk, it must seem awfully unfair that gravity pulls down so mercilessly. And yet each time she plops on her rear or bumps her nose into the floor, she gets back up to try again. Gravity just is, and to walk she must take the falls. Not to walk, however, is not an option, nor should it be. And so it must be in my walk; each morning I must rise up to the challenge of living for Him, and each time I fall flat on my face, I must get up again. To stay where I am is unacceptable, if not to me then certainly to God.

1 comment:

Jen said...

What a beautiful analogy. I have the same visual going on at my house too! Thanks for the message.