into my own

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.”

“The process of growing up is to be valued for what we gain, not for what we lose.”

I am torn between the two above quotes I read today.  One is from Albert Einstein, a brilliant man who did not believe in a personal God.  The other is from C.S. Lewis, a man for whom I have the highest levels of respect.  Can you guess who said what?

As I was mulling over the first quote, I couldn’t help but smile and nod my head in agreement.  Growing up in church my entire life, raised by parents who were in ministry before I was born, I have witnessed the purchasers of “fire insurance” … “just in case” Christians whom have not really given their relationship with God perhaps the focus and desire that it would seem to deserve.  If I were to be completely honest (as if it were ok to only be half-honest…the things we say…), I have found myself in those shoes, very comfortable with my existence, walking around with some sort of self-righteous pride buoyed by the knowledge that I “wasn’t as bad as those people.”  I think each of us who professes to be a representation of our God and His love, need measure ourselves against the greatest level of standard one can find.  Then, finding ourselves wanting, should with even greater intent and focus strive to become the lighthouse to humanity Jesus envisioned when likening us to a “city on a hill.”  Maybe Mr. Einstein knew a bit more about life than the theory of relativity.

The second statement surprised me really.  I certainly appreciate the direction of the speaker’s thoughts, pointing us toward the future, encouraging us to never look back, pressing ever onward toward the proverbial mark.  However, something about it just rubs me the wrong way.  The innocence of our untainted youth was the most blissful, albeit ignorant, existence most of us will ever have in this present life.  To be free of all care, knowing that all our needs were provided, believing that what we had was all we needed, when tomorrow was a magical place full new adventures and greater joy…

In my opinion, this is what our relationship with our Father should be today.  Never worrying because all our needs have been provided for.  Never coveting for more…content with what we have, yet believing our Father for more because we can do so much more for His kingdom with each increase of our hands.  And falling asleep each day with peace in our hearts, knowing tomorrow’s grace will greet us in the morning, fully empowering us to accomplish that is intended.

I’m sorry Mr. Lewis…for the first time in a long time I have to disagree with you.  The process of growing up seems to have hindered my walk with God, not increased it.  As the concerns of this life attempt to grip me with their talons…they grow weaker still when I run to my Father’s arms as the child I once was, as the child He still sees me as, happy just to be in His presence.

Into My Own by Robert Frost

One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as ’twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto the edge of doom.

I should not be withheld but that some day
Into their vastness I should steal away,
Fearless of ever finding open land,
Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.

I do not see why I should e’er turn back,
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.

They would not find me changed from him they knew–
Only more sure of all I thought was true.

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