Saturday, 25 September 2010

How could there be anything that I did not want?

'What you have made me see,' answered the Lady, 'is as plain as the sky, but I never saw it before. Yet it has happened every day. One goes into the forest to pick food and already the thought of one fruit rather than another has grown up in one's mind. Then, it may be, one finds a different fruit and not the fruit one thought of One joy was expected and another is given. But this I had never noticed before that at the very moment of the finding there is in the mind a kind of thrusting back, or a setting aside. The picture of the fruit you have not found is still, for a moment, before you. And if you wished - if it were possible to wish - you could keep it there. You could send your soul after the good you had expected, instead of turning it to the good you had got. You could refuse the real good; you could make the real fruit taste insipid by thinking of the other.'
Ransom interrupted. 'That is hardly the same thing as finding a stranger when you wanted your husband.'
'Oh, that is how I came to understand the whole thing. You and the King differ more than two kinds of fruit. The joy of finding him again and the joy of all the new knowledge I have had from you are more unlike than two tastes; and when the difference is as great as that, and each of the two things so great, then the first picture does stay in the mind quite a long time - many beats of the heart - after the other good has come. And this, O Piebald, is the glory and wonder you have made me see; that it is I, I myself, who turn from the good expected to the given good. Out of my own heart I do it. One can conceive a heart which did not: which clung to the good it had first thought of and turned the good which was given it into no good.'
'I don't see the wonder and the glory of it,' said Random.
Her eyes flashed upon him such a triumphant flight above his thoughts as would have been scorn in earthly eyes; but in that world it was not scorn
'I thought,' she said, 'that I was carried in the will of Him I love, but now I see that I walk with it. I thought that the good things He sent me drew me into them as the waves lift the islands; but now I see that it is I who plunge into them with my own legs and arms, as when we go swimming. I feel as if I were living in that roofless world of yours when men walk undefended beneath naked heaven. It is delight with terror in it! One's own self to be walking from one good to another, walking beside Him as Himself may walk, not even holding hands. How has He made me so separate from Himself? How did it enter His mind to conceive such a thing? The world is so much larger than I thought. I thought we went along paths - but it seems there are no paths. The going itself is the path.'
'And have you no fear,' said Random, 'that it will ever be hard to turn your heart from the thing you wanted to the thing Maleldil sends?'
'I see', said the Lady presently. 'The wave you plunge into may be very swift and great. You may need all your force to swim into it. You mean, He might send me a good like that?'
'Yes - or like a wave so swift and great that all your force was too little.'
'It often happens that way in swimming,' said the Lady. 'Is not that part of the delight?'
'But are you happy without the King? Do you not want the King?'
'Want him?' she said. 'How could there be anything I did not want?'

- p. 80-82 Perelandra by C. S. Lewis

When our hearts are regenerated by God, when our hearts are sanctified by God, finally being freed, we, out of our own hearts, rejoice and choose, yes, willingly and joyfully choose God and follow Him, trusting God and gladly receiving whatever is given to us, because we have come to know the infinitely wise, just, sovereign, and loving Father.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

You can get your copy of Perelandra from Amazon, BookDepository, or Koorong.

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