I’m reading a wonderful book by a stunning author, C.S. Lewis. It takes time to read through his stuff, it’s definitely not accessible to the speed reader in me. The book I’m reading is a collection of His essays entitled, “Faith, Christianity and the Church.” I picked it up for R70 and it’s really challenging me. For the next few days I’ll post some of his quotes and my reflections on them.

Here’s an excerpt from the excellent sermon “The Weight of Glory.”

“It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbour. The load, or weight, or burden of my neigbour’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or the other of these destinations.”

The first sentence already challenges me out of my personal/individualized compartmentalized version of the Christ life. It takes me by the hand and shows me that the shack I’ve lived in is placed in a vast meadow with beautiful scenery, mountains dripping with waterfalls, valleys filled with flowers and tundra with vistas that will blow your mind away. I experience this taking by the hand last Sunday.

On our way to the Kleipot gathering, we stopped at an intersection. Now here in South Africa we have street vendors on almost all the huge crossings. One of the vendors approached me and he had a most peculiar item for sale, a huge map of the world, one of those that can cover a whole wall. I felt the whisper of God, ‘remember your brothers and sisters in the rest of the world.’ We started our service with prayer and silence for the tragic events in Spain.

We have to break free! Free from our consistent preoccupation with the self. To exchange my self focused lenses for the eyes of people and possibility. This world has more movements of grace and glory than I can ever imagine. This piece challenges me to see and notice the glory of my wife, my friends, my parents and siblings, the person checking my groceries, directing traffic, working in my house, washing my car, watching my car, begging from me, irritating me – everyone. I have to remember that my rhythms can, to quote Lewis, be an element of “helping each other to one or the other of these destinations.” I know towards which destiny I want to help.

I end with another quote in the essay,

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.”