Monday, June 6, 2011

Tracing The Beams Back To Their Source

In the sermon yesterday, I quoted this passage by C.S. Lewis (from Letters to Malcolm Chiefly on Prayer, emphasis mine):
Pleasures are shafts of glory as it strikes our sensibility....
But aren't there bad, unlawful pleasures? Certainly there are. But in calling them "bad pleasures" I take it we are using a kind of shorthand. We mean "pleasures snatched by unlawful acts." It is the stealing of the apples that is bad, not the sweetness. The sweetness is still a beam from the glory. ...
I have make every pleasure into a channel of adoration. I don't mean simply by giving thanks for it. One must of course give thanks, but I mean something different....
Gratitude exclaims, very properly, "How good of God to give me this." Adoration says, "What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations (i.e. flashes of light, sparkles) are like this!" One's mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun.
If this is Hedonism, it is also a somewhat arduous discipline. But it is worth some labour.

I ran across the following example of "running back up the sunbeam to the sun" just this morning.
Rev. Theodore L. Cuyler, the celebrated Brooklyn divine, was visiting the famous London preacher, Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon. After a hard day of work and serious discussion, these two mighty men of God went out into the country together for a holiday. They roamed the fields in high spirits like boys let loose from school, chatting and laughing and free from care. Dr. Cuyler had just told a story at which Mr. Spurgeon laughed uproariously. Then suddenly he turned to Dr. Cuyler and exclaimed, ‘Theodore, let’s kneel down and thank God for laughter!’ And there, on the green carpet of grass, under the trees, two of the world’s greatest men knelt and thanked the dear Lord for the bright and joyous gift of laughter.
What beams of God's glory have you traced back to their Source lately? Let's keep our "eyes" open for God's glorious (though often "ordinary") coruscations this week!

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