There is No Other Stream

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“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.

“I am dying of thirst,” said Jill.

“Then drink,” said the Lion.

“May I — could I — would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.

The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.

The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.

“Will you promise not to — do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.

“I make no promise,” said the Lion.

Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.

“Do you eat girls?” she said.

“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.

“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.

“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”

“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.”

― C. S. Lewis,
The Chronicles of Narnia,
The Silver Chair

Shakespeare, Spaceships, and God

imagesLooking for God—or Heaven—by exploring space is like reading or seeing all Shakespeare’s plays in the hope that you will find Shakespeare as one of the characters or Stratford as one of the places. Shakespeare is in one sense present in the same way as Falstaff or Lady Macbeth. Nor is he diffused through the play like a gas.

If there were an idiot who thought plays existed on their own, without an author . . . our belief in Shakespeare would not be much affected by his saying, quite truly, that he had studied all the plays and never found Shakespeare in them. . . .

I am not suggesting at all that the existence of God is as easily established as the existence of Shakespeare. My point is that, if God does exist, He is related to the universe more as an author is related to a play than as one object in the universe is related to another . . .

To some, God is discoverable everywhere; to others, nowhere. Those who do not find Him on earth are unlikely to find Him in space. (Hang it all, we’re in space already; every year we go a huge circular tour in space.) But send a saint up in a spaceship and he’ll find God in space as he found God on earth. Much depends on the seeing eye.

–C. S. Lewis, 
Christian Reflections

Looking for Signs of God

A great many arguments about God—God’s existence, God’s nature, God’s actions in the world—run the risk of being like pointing a flashlight toward the sky to see if the sun is shining. Is all too easy to make the mistake of speaking and thinking as though God (if there is a God) might be a being, an entity, within our world, accessible to our interested study in the same sort of way we might studying music or mathematics, open to our investigation by the same sort of techniques will use for objects and entities within our world.

imagesWhen Yuri Gagari, the first Soviet cosmonaut, landed after orbiting the Earth a few times, he declared that he had disproved the existence of God. He had been up there, he said, and had seen no sign of him. Some Christians pointed out that Gagarin had seen plenty of signs of God, if only the cosmonaut known how to interpret them. The difficulty is that speaking of God in anything like the Christian sense is like staring into the sun it’s dazzling. It’s easier, actually, to look away from the sun itself and to enjoy the fact that once it’s well and truly risen, you can see everything else clearly.

–N. T. Wright,
Simply Christian

Created to find fulfillment in God

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Every attempt to squeeze a reason for living out of this world in isolation from its Creator ultimately runs dry, leaving the idolater unfulfilled, frustrated, and bitter. The insufficiency of creation is a billboard for the sufficiency of God. He alone can meet our deepest needs.

God’s insistence that he alone be worshiped, so that our exercise of dominion [over the creation] is done in dependence on him, is therefore not an expression of evil egotism but an overture of love. God has created us in such a way that our fulfillment is wrapped up in displaying his glory. When God insists that he alone be our God, he is insisting on our happiness, since nothing compares with God when satisfying our longings.

– Scott Hafemann,
The God of Promise and the Life of Faith

When Worship Gets Warped

3581611768_1ab4d3b473_mIf you do not worship God, you worship something, and nine times out of ten it will be yourself. You have a duty to worship God, not because He will be imperfect and unhappy if you do not, but because you will be imperfect and unhappy.
                ― Fulton J. Sheen