So, my siblings and I recently discovered this YouTube Channel called “Overly Sarcastic Productions” and I’m just recommending it here because it’s both entertaining and instructive (hopefully like my blog posts.)
That aside, let’s talk.
In my previous post I told the story of how a book changed my life, and it’s not new thing either. Lots of people have similar story. (I read a book once about it, but I wouldn’t recommend it necessarily.) I didn’t get too much time to elaborate on it though. I do have limit for how long I make my posts.
What I wanted to talk about more was the idea the book introduced to me. That of Submitting to God’s will. In the story this is always represented by obedience to a difficult command, and/or building an altar and sacrificing the will power. (Usually these two things happen simultaneously.)
This has to be the most unpopular idea in the history of humanity. It takes a brave person to make it the whole turning point of their book.
But Hannah Hurnard is just being honest with us, because it is this act of laying down the will that our human stories all turn on. Will we or Won’t we?
C. S. Lewis recognized it too in “Till We Have Faces.” Orual comes to the point where she says there was no rebel in her anymore. She finally does that the gods say.
Christians can all too often sell Salvation as a way to ease all your troubles. To finally get what you want. Peace. Joy. Love. Eternal Life.
Since the Fall, men have wanted Eternal Life, and God actually had to guard it from them with a flaming sword and two cherubim. (See Genesis 2-3, I think.)
The problem is, we like the Eternal Life idea, but not what goes with it.
Eternal life, if you are a corrupt being, is actually tormenting. Several movies have touched on this idea and also some books, like the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.
Many people have concluded that living forever isn’t really what we want, like “the Fault in our Stars” basically says, that it’s a fantasy.
The one tiny detail they always leave out is that it is entirely possible that one could exist forever, but in a terrible, torturous place, typically known as hell.
Bringing up hell is not a very safe thing to do. No one likes to think of it. (Well, some people do in an obsessive way I find unhealthy.)
God was doing mankind a favor. Eternal life with no cost would have been horrible, nightmare-ish, for evil people.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t want Eternal Life, the cost is a trade. We havwe to give up our own small, mortal lives. Not in that we die the minute we choose Eternal Life, but that we no longer live as if we’re in control.
That’s the price we are afraid to pay. And many people miss out on eternal life for that very reason. The thing is, controlling our own lives makes us cynical. We’ll scoff at eternal Life and the idea of Christ crucified, not because it’s actually mockable, (what about the story is at all mockable even if you think it’s made up?) but because we get mad that we couldn’t make ourselves immortal.
I actually know this song, maybe you’ve heard it, that’s not even a Christian song, but the first line nails the idea. “They say we are what we are, but we don’t have to be.” (It’s Immortals by Fallout Boy, and for the record, I chose to ignore some of the lyrics for the sake of the ones I think are profound.)
A lot of us see that idea as saying we could change who we are, but the truth is, we can’t. We don’t have to be what we are, it’s true, but it’ll take more than ourselves to change us.
It’s simple logic. You cannot give what you don’t have. I, being human and mortal and flawed, do not have perfection or everlasting life, so I can’t give it to myself. I have to get it from someone who has those things.
A lot of old stories get some of this truth in there in that the hero will have to find a magical item or complete an impossible task with help from a supernatural being (a fairy or elf will count here) before they can live happily ever after. Which means forever, by the way.
To get back to my beginning point about laying down the will, God isn’t making this demand out of a desire for control. He just knows that only He has what we need.
People still get mad at God for making them dependent on him. (It’s happened, even if you’ve never done it, and good for you then.) To which God replies “I am the potter, you’re the clay. Can the clay say to the potter you’re making me wrong?”
I don’t know still why God does all things the way he does, but the whole lesson of the book is that I don’t have to know.
People will always mock Christians, and other religious people, for believing in something they can’t fully understand. And accepting that even when it looks like that something is being cruel. But they don’t understand faith. Or they hate it.
And that’s not going to change my mind. But I have no hate for those people, there’s no point in that. Heck, I hope they are the ones who read my stuff even if it’s just to disagree with it, because it’s important that people know what they are actually against.
I have to go now, hope you enjoyed this post, until next time–Natasha.