For many years now I’ve owned a personal letter from C. S. Lewis. A gift from a friend. You may know his writings. Like ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ or ‘Mere Christianity’. A favorite Lewis piece is a novella entitled ‘The Great Divorce’. It’s a serious yet whimsical account of people in hell, taking a bus to the outskirts of heaven, hating it along with its squeaky-clean inhabitants, and quickly grabbing the first transport back to hell!
One scene involves a group of unbelieving pastors gathered in hell for a conference entitled ‘Is There a Hell?’ Here Lewis seizes upon the angle that sin makes us unaware. Plain dull to where we are and what’s smack-dab in front of us. Insensitive to what’s throbbing with meaning around us. Unaware.
Take a gander at Proverbs chapter 9. This section, as with most of the book of Proverbs, draws clear pictures of the dangers of foolishness, as in being easily led unaware into sin by various temptations. Beginning at verse 13 we see a seductress who is clueless and ignorant–‘…and knows nothing’ (Pr. 9:13). Lollygagging around all day, putting on airs, calling to others to take a detour, parking themselves in her fool’s paradise. There’s stolen water and bread to feast upon. Woop-de-doo! A meager fare at best. Yet, whoever succumbs to these temptations has no idea that they’re in the company of the dead, in the depths of hell itself. Not a clue. Proverbs 9:18–‘But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol (another word for hell).’ Unaware.
Sobering thoughts. Makes me wonder. Not about going to hell. For believers in Jesus, who have that personal relationship with Him, hell remains a forbidden locale. Not for us. Not when you trust in Jesus. He alone has taken care of that.
So, what do I wonder about? It’s this– how much don’t I see in life? Missing what’s smack dab in front of me, as close as the ample nose on my face. Failing to notice our God whose fingerprints and footprints are everywhere. Unaware.
Let me be specific. After decades of hearing about how evolution explains away God (which I never did swallow even before becoming a Christian), I’m curious how much of that has permeated my little grey cells, robbing me of the wonder of it all, while looking at plants and trees and birds, unaware that all this beauty should take me back to their Creator God, with praise and thanks aimed directly at Him. Can I see Him in His creation as He intends me to? Will I?
Or politics. Now, I’m not going to get partisan here. Not in the red/blue sense. But rather looking at history, then and now, as held in Someone else’s greater hands than the blokes running life here on earth. Again, then and now. Power people really think they run the show. Entirely. So, why do I get so worked up? So anxious and angry? If I really believe that God’s in charge, I should be happy, relaxing in Jesus. Shouldn’t I? Who’s the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Can I see Him? Jesus? Or sink in quicksand unaware.
Maybe we’re not seeing what’s right in front of our eyes. As close as that Book of Books. The more time spent in your Bible, the less sway this world will tug at you the wrong way. So, get with His program. Turn around. Don’t take that bus to hell, tempting as it may be. Anyway, they’ll throw you off long before the depot arrives. Good!
Be aware. Eyes wide open. Ears tuned. Take it all in. Be aware. Maybe, spread some palms on your pathway, so to speak, welcoming Jesus into every facet of your life. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday after all. Shout Hosanna! To the King of Kings! And Lord of Lords!
Lord Jesus, help me to see you more clearly. In your name. Amen.