Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

18 October 2012

Playing Hide and Seek with God

Think about this Proverb for a minute: 

"It is the glory of God to conceal a thing but the honor of kings is to search out a matter"
Proverbs 25:2

This has great implications on our daily faith.  Massive really.

Extrapolated, this says that:  Alpha God who wants to be known by man takes great pride or pleasure in avoiding disclosure about things that men want to know fully. But esteem and integrity is lauded on MANLY men who earnestly pursue God for the answer unabated by the chase. 

Why the tease?  Why the game of hide and seek?  It can be especially infuriating considering that we KNOW that God does speak.  He just isn't always as interested in talking about what we are. In his little known poem called "Mythopoeia" , famed author JRR Tolkien wrote the incredibly insightful phrase:

 "Man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed"
Tolkien

It means we're being teased and drawn forward towards freedom.  Mythopoeia was written in September of 1931 WITH and TO his contempary and friend CS Lewis.  Yes... Lord of the Rings was the mentor of Narnia.

As the preface to the poem Tolkien wrote, "To one CS Lewis who said that myths were lies and therefore worthless, even though 'breathed through silver'."

You see there was a friendly philosophical argument going on between the mentor and young firebrand.  Both followers of Christ writing to make sense of a life lived with God for themselves... and others too.   Tolkien used stories to communicate God, but initially Lewis didn't like it.  The scenarios weren't real he thought.  When truth was so PLAIN, why not just SAY IT!

But as he eventually found out... you can't take the "story" and unknown adventure part out of this faith of ours. Wikipedia's description of Lewis's later years talks about how he eventually came to process Christianity.

"The story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened. "Subsequently, his Chronicles of Narniais regarded as mythopoeia, with storylines referencing that Christian mythology, namely the narrative of a great king who is sacrificed to save his people and is resurrected. Lewis' mythopoeic intent is often confused with allegory, where the characters and world of Narnia would stand in direct equivalence with concepts and events from Christian theology and history, but Lewis repeatedly emphasized that an allegorical reading misses the point (the mythopoeia) of the Narnia stories."

Why not JUST SAY IT Tolkien, instead of messing around with mythical orcs and hobbits??  Why not JUST SAY IT Lewis, instead of scribing other worlds of rings and witches and valiant talking mice??   Why not JUST SAY IT God instead of making us walk and work in order to understand??

"We're an empty jar that is conscious of our emptiness and knows it should be full"
Alister McGrath


 I think the best way to "prove" God is not to try to prove Him at all. It's to point to Him. We should never make the mistake of seeing a sign... or miracle... or a piece of creation... or a wonder... and gaze too intently at it. We err by holding it tightly and turning it into our "precious."  We can get caught in thinking that it is "the end".  Beauty is not the end. It's a signpost designed to point BEYOND to God. 


There is a constant pull towards the beyond. The spirit is never completely satisfied until it reaches it's day when it gets to be with God.  I call it "The Ache of the Incomplete" We all have it since this world is not our home and we're not home yet. "The ache of Incomplete" is kind of like the Paul thorn in the flesh. I think of it as the lonely feeling that we all sometimes feel when we look up at the stars at night and miss long lost friends or family who have gone home first.  But this ache shouldn't discourage us. It should be a reminder to not grow weary in doing good. It should be a reminder that He's gone to prepare a place for us. It should motivate us to press on in faith.  The good and bad news is that there is more of us waiting for us around the corner too.

“The next moment is as much beyond our grasp, and as much in God's care, as that a hundred years away. Care for the next minute is as foolish as care for a day in the next thousand years. In neither can we do anything, in both God is doing everything.”
CS Lewis


What is now one of my favorite songs ever written, U2's title lyric from "I still haven't found what I'm looking for" used to bother me somethin' awful.  "If you've found Jesus you HAVE found what you're looking for! Say it LOUD!", I'd say in my zealous 20's way that I've come to regret a little.

Looking now however, I think that there is a "pointing to God" factor in Bono's lyric that says he's spoken with the tongue of angels (like ME) and he STILL hasn't found what he's looking for (like me). I've seen and been a part of some pretty cool stuff but I'm still looking at the prospects of living in a broken world... with a broken life... being pulled and wooed by the Spirit of God onward over the hills to where there is something better. There has to be.  I know in my heart that there is.

Every night I get to make lovely campfire (like Frodo & the Pevensie children) and feel OK. I know that tomorrow I will pursue the answers to great questions through wild country for my own good.  The pursuit itself will make me a better man. The one beckoning the chase is a GOOD Savior leading to GREAT treasures; and one day we'll rest together. 

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