Friday, August 13, 2010

God Has Designed Us Such That Only He Can Satisfy

C. S. Lewis, from Mere Christianity, pp. 49-50:

The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first -- wanting to be the centre -- wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan: and that was the sin he taught the human race. ... What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could 'be like gods' -- could set up on their own as if they had created themselves -- be their own masters -- invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history -- money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery -- the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.

The reason why it can never succeed is this. God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol [gasoline], and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

"How sweet all at once it was for me
to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose! …
You drove them from me, You who are the true, sovereign joy.
You drove them from me and took their place,
You who are sweeter than all pleasure,
though not to flesh and blood,
You who outshine all light,
yet are hidden deeper than any secret in our hearts,
You who surpass all honor,
though not in the eyes of men who see all honor in themselves. …
O Lord my God, my Light, my Wealth, and my Salvation."

- Augustine of Hippo -

1 comment:

Marie said...

That is fantastic! Thanks for sharing, Mike!