Around last week or so, I bought a wonderful new book which is actually a collection of seven of C.S. Lewis’ classic masterworks. I have been eagerly awaiting an opportunity to read The Great Divorce ever since someone explained the premise of the story, and all my expectations were met and exceeded in reading the brilliant words of Lewis.
One of my favorite quotes from the book comes from a conversation from two characters, where one is a Ghost from Hell, speaking with a Spirit on its way to Heaven. It goes like this:
“I wish I’d never been born,” it [the Ghost] said. “What are we born for?” “For infinite happiness,” said the Spirit. “You can step out into it at any moment…”
What a revelation! If you’re anything like me, you might constantly wonder about your purpose on Earth, and really, it couldn’t be simpler. I almost feel foolish for not realizing it sooner, but if we are fulfilling God’s mysterious albeit perfect will, won’t we find ourselves in this “infinite happiness” as well? It seems that with a perfect God like ours, it couldn’t be any other way. God’s will does not intend for or include permanent misery in our lives, though it can certainly feel like it sometimes. I would like to someday, when I reach the Gates of Heaven, be able to have the knowledge that by accepting God’s path for me, I am also accepting an undying and everlasting happiness that follows me where ever I go.
Something else that took me by surprise was this statement made by another Spirit to a Ghost:
“No,” said the other, “I can promise you none of these things. No sphere of usefulness: you are not needed there at all. No scope for your talents: only forgiveness for having perverted them. Not atmosphere of inquiry, for I will bring you to the land not of questions but of answers, and you shall see the face of God.”
With “there” being Heaven, I felt a bit indignant at first, but C.S. Lewis has a point. Heaven is already perfect, so what does it need me for? God already has everything and is everything, so I am not necessary, rather I am desired. There is nothing that I can do that can improve Heaven one iota, and God knows it. Yet, He still fights for every soul and rejoices when even just one comes to Him. Heaven is the place for us to have answers, not questions, and it is the place for us to just exist for loving God. Sounds pretty perfect if you ask me. There is a feeling of relief knowing that even though God doesn’t need me, He still wants me, and if you ask me, it’s all the more reason to rejoice in our Savior.
This particular part really spoke to me because I constantly struggle with not being enough. I never feel adequate in so many areas of my life, but especially spiritually. I am just reminded of how impossible it is for me to be completely perfect, but how extremely possible it is for me to be loved and cared for by God. Especially as of late, I have been just at a loss because I know there is no way I will ever stop falling short of the glory of God, but I know that it is okay, because though sin is a wretched, heart-hardening part of life, it will be soon dissolved, and God’s perfect grace will cover me. So even when I struggle, if I can just hang on to that one thought, that one hope, it makes it possible to ask for forgiveness and move on. Knowing that I am so wonderfully loved despite my shortcomings, despite my perversion of any and all God-given talents, is enough, because God is enough.
Thank you, Mr. Lewis, for your brilliant mind and wonderful stories that keep me thinking. (I highly suggest reading this book, and any others by C.S. Lewis you can get your hands on…they are absolutely life-changing!)