“If we will not learn to eat the only food that the universe grows – the only food that any possible universe can ever grow – then we must starve eternally.” – C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
A crazy number of my friends are finding themselves in the agonizing process of watching their children walk down the road of ruin. These are good parents who did the best they knew, and yet somehow it’s all turned out so terribly wrong.
It’s made me think about how reality is wrapped up in God and in His Kingdom. When we turn our back on the Father we walk away from the world as it is. A person cannot simultaneously resist God and embrace life because they are wrapped so tightly together. To resist God is to resist purpose, health, joy and relationship. Such a choice will yield loneliness, addiction and mental illness as surely as jumping into a fire will produce pain.
God doesn’t punish modern day prodigals any more than the Father punished his prodigal son. The choice is its own punishment. Sons and daughters weren’t made for pigsties nor brier patches, and when we abandon the Father’s outrageous love to live in the land of illusion it is we who thrash ourselves.
We were made for a kingdom. My hope is that when the children have had their fill of living against nature, the Kingdom will beckon their feet back into the land of the living.
This is what it looks like right now in my part of the country. Friday (Oct. 16) I leave to teach for two weeks in Kona Hawaii. There I’ll be seeing a different kind of glory reflecting yet another facet of the beauty of God.