Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Made for Some Reason

Surely a man of genius composing a poem or symphony must be less unlike God than  a ruler? But the man of genius has no mere by-products in his work. Every note or word will be more than a means, more than a consequence. Nothing will be present solely for the sake of other things. 
If each note or word were conscious it would say, "The Maker had me myself in view and chose for me, with the whole force of His genius, exactly the context I required." And it would be right – provided it remembered that every other note or word could say no less.

~ C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm Chiefly on Prayer (pp. 54-55)

Words, words, words: God made the world and its contents with them. By the word of His mouth the heavens stand firm. The Son of God is called the Word (logos). Moreover, God reveals Himself most expressly in the words of a story contained in a book. That story is the great Story, complete with a plot, interwoven themes, protagonist, antagonist, and damsel in distress. The Story has a beginning, a plight, a climax, a liberator, an ultimate sacrifice, and is still in the throes of climax resolution. God tells His Story in a variety of lives and through numerous means: poetry, philosophy, narrative, historical accounts, and letters.

Did you know that you are a part of God's grand Story? Not only that, but in "the whole force of His genius" you are in the exact context that you require. You should not have been born two hundred years ago, nor two thousand years hence. You should not have been born into a different culture, on a different continent, or to a different family (even though your family life may have extreme brokenness, God can redeems and use even that). You should not try to be someone or something you are not. You do not have to fit into the box the world offers you. You were made to be the exact person you are to carry the Story further. Your line is not just your own, but it fits into the context of the Story right now.

This idea from Lewis surfaced in another book I read recently:  

"Did you ever notice that all machines are made for some reason?" [Hugo] asked Isabelle. "They are built to make you laugh, like the mouse here, or to tell the time, like clocks, or to fill you with wonder, like the automaton. Maybe that's why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn't able to do what it was meant to do... Maybe it's the same with people," Hugo continued. "If you lose your purpose... It's like you're broken."
 ~ Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret (pp 374-375)

If we lose our purpose, if we seek a different context than the one chosen for us, it is like we are broken. We are like a line read out of time, dropping the rhythm and rhyme. Have you ever felt out of time? As if your line had no context at all, let alone the 'exact right' sort? Perhaps you don't know what to do after school, or what job to look for, or whom you should marry, or whether you ought to remain single, or where you should live.  Maybe you feel trapped where you are. Are you really trapped, or do you no longer fit inside a constantly shrinking space?  Like a piece in a complicated machine, you will not simply 'do' in one of a number of places. You must fit exactly where the Maker has intended for you to go from the beginning.

That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

 ~ Walt Whitman, O Me! O Life! (from Leaves of Grass)

And as Mr Keating (from my favourite film, Dead Poets' Society) asks his class, I ask you: what will your verse be?

~ Johanna

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