Vision without Rational Connections.

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“I once was blind, but now I see.” This line from Amazing Grace, do we believe it? What do we mean by it?

CS Lewis’ life was changed when he read George McDonald’s Phantastes. Lewis reports that when he picked up this book at a bookstall, Christianity was the last thing on his mind. Lewis later said, reading the book “converted, even baptized” my imagination. Through Phantastes Lewis imagined the world differently¢â‚¬¦to be precise, he was enabled to sense its goodness. He later said, “The quality which had enchanted me in his imaginative works turned out to be the quality of the real universe, the divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic reality in which we all live. I should have been shocked in my teens if anyone had told me that what I learned to love in Phantastes was goodness.”

MacDonald said, “A fairy story is like a vision without a rational connection.” Today much of Christianity is held captive by pseudo-rationalists. They do not actually think but they are boxed in paradigms which they attempt to foist on others. They wander through each day without “seeing” the spiritual visitations all around them. Like Luke Skywalker who was unaware of the “force” or Neo unaware if the Matrix, we are unaware of the spiritual in daily life, and yet we sing glibly, “I once was blind a now I see.”

The Irish Times once quoted a victim of a car accident as saying, “there were plenty of onlookers, but no witnesses.” When Jesus said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be my witnesses,” it was his expectation that we could do more than bear witness to the true events that happened 2,000 years ago. He wants us to bear witness to God’s presence today, a job that requires seeing first, and then reporting what we see. Given that expectation I don’t think there are many witnesses around.

Seeing is what differentiates people on a journey from people on a pilgrimage. As Mark Nepo once said, “To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and be transformed is to be a pilgrim.”

I’m reading Phantastes right now and I am noticing that I am more aware of the spiritual around me, but it requires diligence and attentiveness. I want to see because I want to be a pilgrim.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in April 27, 2005 by | No Comments »

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