Tuesday, February 8, 2011

C.S. Lewis and The Divine Meridian

On November 30, 1954, C.S. Lewis wrote to Walter Hooper:

We should, I believe, distrust states of mind which turn our attention upon ourselves. Even at our sins we should look no longer than is necessary to know and repent of them: and our virtues or progress (if any) are certainly a dangerous object of contemplation. When the sun is vertically above a man he casts no shadow: similarly when we have come to the Divine meridian our spiritual shadow (that is, our consciousness of self) will vanish. One will thus in a sense be almost nothing: a room to be filled by God and our blessed fellow creatures, who in their turn are rooms we help to fill. But how far one is from this at present!

This is a wide and deep ocean, this issue of self-consciousness; it is an ocean we navigate the whole of our lives. There may be seasons in which obliviousness to self is healthy, and there may be seasons in which obliviousness to self is toxic; whatever the season, if we navigate with Christ as our North Star we can trust Him to reveal to us what He wills and in His light we will see light.

Self-preoccupation is a Dead Sea; we are called to be preoccupied with Christ and others, not with self.

Paul counsels the Corinthians to examine themselves when they approach the Lord’s Table lest they partake of the Table in an unworthy manner. My thinking on this passage (1Corinthians 11:23 – 34) is that we are to particularly examine our relationships with one another and not to partake of the Table if our relationships require mending, forgiveness, and reconciliation; after all, we are the Body of Christ.

The author of Psalm 139 prays, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me; and lead me in the way everlasting.” Only God and His Word can do the necessary work within us. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of the soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart,” Hebrews 4:12.  

Where are we today in reference to the Divine meridian?

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to me that Paul was able to say, "...I do not even judge myself.My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me."

    Oh, to know what he knew, or to get to where he got to in his walk with Jesus.