Thursday, April 4, 2013

A short reflection at 35 years and one day

"You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be," said Aslan. 
Lucy said, "We're so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often." 
"No fear of that," said Aslan. "Have you not guessed?" 
Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose within them. 
"There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother and all of you are - as you used to call it in the Shadowlands - dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning." 
And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them is was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at least they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.                                                                                            
- The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis
This is the last page of the last book in the Chronicles of Narnia, and it destroys me. In the best way possible. The Chronicles are among my favorite books of all time, and I've read them probably more than 20 times. They are an allegory for life in the faith, a children's tale that speaks to the heart of adults as well. I'm 35 as of yesterday, and I still learn from these books.

When Jeff read this page during his sermon the past Sunday, I wept. That's who I've been in the last six months. As I've delved deep into the heart of God, he has churned me up. He has made me raw.

This passage, very obviously, is about death and the life to come for those who believe in the Lord. And it, more than almost anything, makes my heart cry out for it. Not that I long for death by any means, but in that I  desire to be done with all of this, to be done with the questions and the pain and the destruction and the decay, and to be there in the Kingdom, a new body and a happy heart, being full and assured of God's love and blessing, sitting with my Father as I've longed to do all my life. As we all have longed for, whether we've known it or not.

I probably won't leave this world for a long time, and I'm very okay with that. I will persevere and run after God and enjoy the good things of this life and thank Him even during the bad things, even when I don't mean it. I will run with perseverance the race set before me.

But oh my goodness, when that day comes, I will not miss this life for a second. I will lay down every second of confusion and frustration and anger and happiness and laughter and music and just I will be done with it. I will not turn my head and look back. (Unless we get to fly through outer space - then I will probably look back just to see the earth with my own eyes. Also, I'd like to see the moon landing up close just to make sure they weren't making that up. Okay I'm joking.)

I used to not get excited about heaven and not think very highly of God as a father. But I asked Him to change my heart and He did. Of course, I have a long way to go. It makes me tired thinking about it. But I have so many things in this life to look forward to, which keeps me going. And it makes me happy to have all of you on this journey with me, believer or not. My favorite thing about life is relationships, and I think God made it that way on purpose, because our relationships are an echo and a shadow, a picture of what He wants with us. I know that I was made for all of you, and you were made for me. And we were all made for Him, and He loves us.

Here's to 35 more years (and more) and love and friendship, and of cherishing each day, and of counting the days until I go home.

Thanks to the blog over at SixSteps for the copy of the text. The italics are mine.