- By Elder Thatcher

A Thematic Blog - -By Elder Thatcher
"By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Don't Pray a Lie

Spell-chequers beware:  Mark Twain ahead.  

Mark Twain, widely known as American literature's greatest humorist.  His humor was effective, not merely because of its author's wit, but also because of the depth of his thought.  Most have heard of Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, wherein Twain presents the escapades of the young Missourian boy Huck Finn in his Mississippi bank vernacular. 

What interested me, when I read the book, and, in reality, what makes it the great piece of literature that it is, were the universal and thought-provoking issues delved into by an "unsivilized" Huck. 

How many of us have experienced something like this?

"It made me shiver.  And i about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of boy I was and be better.  So I kneeled down.  But the words wouldn't come, why wouldn't they?  It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him....I knowed very well why they wouldn't come....It was because I was playing double.  I was letting on to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all.  I was trying to make my mouth say I would do the right thing and the clean thing,...but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it.  You can't pray a lie--I found that out." 

Have you ever wanted to change?  Have you ever felt that you should be more than you were?  Have you ever felt sorry for something you did?  Or even for something you were?

I know I have. 

C.S. Lewis said, "If we insist on keeping Hell (or even Earth) we shall not see Heaven; if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell." 

Lewis had his own experience with these things.  C.S. Lewis is acclaimed as one of the greatest philosophical and literary minds of modern Christianity.  His theologically charged work has inspired millions, among whom I humbly claim membership.  However, he spent a good portion of his life a self-labeled atheist.  He was, in his own words, (silly by his own admission), "angry at God for not existing."  He lived his life as he pleased until his scholarly pursuits lead him to a literally conversion.  Having been a vocal proponent of the non-existence of God, he was, needless to say, humbled.  Nevertheless, he let go of his old life, again in his own words, "kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance to escape."

As hesitant as he may have been at the outset, what he became proves what he taught.  We can change; we must simply let go of the things that stop us from changing. 

I know this to be true because I've changed and am changing.  It's hard!  Terribly hard!  Most of the time I don't like it.  Huck Finn didn't like it.  C.S. Lewis didn't like it.  Saul didn't like it.  It just plain goes against the grain.  But I promise anyone who makes it to the bottom of this lengthy post that you too can change.  As a matter of fact, you need to.  And don't convince yourself otherwise, whoever you may be. 

Take it from others' words.

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