As If I Were A Lobster
Last week we engaged the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, who, following his transformation, became the Apostle to the Gentiles, sharing the good news of God's love all over the world.
In my message, I noted how God is the author of our stories, the "Prime Mover" in our turning to Jesus. This should prompt our joy and gratitude that God revealed Himself to us! What's more, it should free us to walk alongside others without feeling ultimately responsible for their spiritual lives. We are able to engage in conversation while trusting Jesus for conversion.
Just today I ran across a wonderful quote by C.S. Lewis, from his book Surprised by Joy, who was converted later in life. Too late for last week's message, but I figured I could share it here anyway!
I became aware that I was holding something at bay, or shutting something out. Or, if you like, that I was wearing some stiff clothing, like corsets, or even a suit of armour, as if I were a lobster. I felt myself being, there and then, given a free choice. I could open the door or keep it shut; I could unbuckle the armour or keep it on. Neither choice was presented as a duty; no threat or promise was attached to either, though I knew that to open the door or to take off the corset meant the incalculable. The choice appeared to be momentous but it was also strangely unemotional. I was moved by no desires or fears. In a sense I was not moved by anything. I chose to open, to unbuckle, to loosen the rein. I say 'I chose,' yet it did not really seem possible to do the opposite. On the other hand, I was aware of no motives. You could argue that I was not a free agent, but I am more inclined to think this came nearer to being a perfectly free act than most I have ever done. Necessity may not be the opposite of freedom, and perhaps a man is most free when, instead of producing motives, he could only say, 'I am what I do.'