And the angel who talked with me came again and woke me, like a man who is awakened out of his sleep. 2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it. 3 And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.” 4 And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” 5 Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” 6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. 7 Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’”
8 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. 10 For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
“These seven are the eyes of the Lord, which range through the whole earth.” 11 Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?” 12 And a second time I answered and said to him, “What are these two branches of the olive trees, which are beside the two golden pipes from which the golden oil is poured out?” 13 He said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” 14 Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”
C.S. Lewis was known to be a tenderhearted child who was very interested in the products of his imagination which he and his mother called 'small things'. His younger wanderings were filled with the understanding of Jesus and, later, Narnia. In the in between years, C.S. Lewis was prone to wander far from the Lord. He had a time period where he despised his small things.
What if -
C.S. Lewis had only encountered a world where he was disdained for his lack of total devotion and judgement for being inferior to Jesus? Would human judgment have inspired C.S. Lewis to grow?
We have free will. But how pervasive is that free will?
I'd say we live a life of illusion - believing all around us is so permanent.
About three days ago I asked my mom how old her brother was, and found Jimmy was 83.
My Uncle Jimmy provides us with the renewed and living hope Jesus gave us of workers coming to the Lord at different ages.
Yesterday, her brother, went in an ambulance to the hospital and died before family could be called. His family is so grateful to the Lord Jimmy did not suffer. - Jimmy Willard, in his 70s, heard Jesus telling Jimmy was precious, chosen and special in Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life." After seven decades of his mother Anita's daily prayers - prayers that were Pervasive. Refusing to Yield - led to Jimmy understanding How Very Much Jesus Loves Jimmy. Grandmother Anita must be fluttering those hands and clutching Jimmy to her. She loved that boy of hers!
The purpose of this blog is to tell the truth of hardship and love. Jimmy had two adoptions as a small child. He looked normal, but a forceps delivery made life Very difficult for Jimmy. His first adopted mother decided to beat potty training into that small burned boy. Jimmy grew up seeing Anita feeding hordes of people in her backyard during the Great Depression from their small frame house.
Finding Jesus and knowing His love took the constant being at sea out of Jimmy. And his final years, after making sure Grandmother Anita lived in her home until her 90's, were filled with the knowledge he had returned decades of kindnesses. Their circle of love and care were completed in his care for her. Even after Grandmother Anita went home, those prayers continued to love on Jimmy. He found Jesus. His later years were the best for him, the fulfilled Jimmy was a vastly different Jimmy.
I'd say we have Two Choices in Life - Being on the Ship - like the analogy of Paul traveling to spread the Joy of Jesus the Bridegroom dwelling within us. And swimming with the fishes - rather like Jonah.
Swimming with that Jonah fish circling - leads us to being spit out as lukewarm to Him.
“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.”
― C.S. Lewis
“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
― C.S. Lewis
“I have come to know a God who has a soft spot for rebels, who recruits people like the adulterer David, the whiner Jeremiah, the traitor Peter, and the human-rights abuser Saul of Tarsus. I have come to know a God whose Son made prodigals the heroes of his stories and the trophies of his ministry.”
― Philip Yancey
But not needing that Ship? Fellows on a Ship... Or like the movie "Knight and Day". With HIM Up there - without Him - down low.
“Self-sufficiency is the enemy of salvation. If you are self-sufficient, you have no need of God. If you have no need of God, you do not seek Him. If you do not seek Him, you will not find Him.”
― William Nicholson, Shadowlands
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
― C S Lewis
Trouble on the Ship....
“Here I am going to say something which may come as a bit of a shock. God doesn't necessarily want us to be happy. He wants us to be lovable. Worthy of love. Able to be loved by Him. We don't start off being all that lovable, if we're honest. What makes people hard to love? Isn't it what is commonly called selfishness? Selfish people are hard to love because so little love comes out of them.”
― William Nicholson, Shadowlands
Discomfort is something to be looked upon as an opportunity to grow. Trouble requires us to change. Giving us time not to stagnate, but to endure. And grow.
Paul indeed found trouble on the Ship - the sojourner found His Ship sometimes even had shipwrecks. But in clinging to that Ship those trusting Him found safe harbor. God used Paul's talents to make his life rich knowing how high, how wide was God's love for all aboard that ship.
If you are familiar with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - you realize Zechariah 4 opened up doors to C.S. Lewis to explain the sojourning of life. Perfectly explaining the Love experienced by those who Love the Lord. GOD Equips us to do His work.
And of course - We need a Christmas Message ~
The other aspect of looking at Zechariah 4 is seeing how his parent fostered C.S. Lewis' creativity. The gifts we give our Children should encourage them to cook, doodle, dream, build, musical instruments - these gifts change lives. I'm so grateful to Mike McDonald, our Youth Minister, who told us one Christmas we would be buying Cal the best used guitar we could reasonably afford because that gift gave Cal the music of his soul - pouring out longings teenagers can't always express. Mike taught Cal guitar for free at his insistence, and Cal went on to start his High School Guitar Club, which in turn, got Cal leadership skills to start the Ultimate Frisbee Club which in turn got him several large Scholarships to College. Thank you, Mike McDonald.
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things.
But the person who scored well on an SAT will not necessarily be the best doctor or the best lawyer or the best businessman. These tests do not measure character, leadership, creativity, perseverance.
William Julius Wilson
Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
Delete the subtitles
One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity.
Edward de Bono
Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found.
James Russell Lowell
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.