Day 35 | Give Me All
August 31, 2015 - WEEK FIVE
Rafael Sanzio de Urbino, Christ’s Charge to Peter, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
There is no scripture reading assigned today. Use this day to catch up as needed and ponder the supplemental reading.
The ordinary idea which we all have before we become Christians is this. We take as starting point our ordinary self with its various desires and interests. We then admit that something else … has claims on this self: claims which interfere with its own desires… Some of the things the ordinary self wanted to do turn out to be what we call “wrong”: well, we must give them up. Other things, which the self did not want to do, turn out to be what we call ‘right': well, we shall have to do them. But we are hoping all the time that when all the demands have been met, the poor natural self will still have some chance, and some time, to get on with its own desires… But we are hoping all the time that when all the demands have been met, the poor natural self will still have some chance, and some time, to get on with its own life and do what it likes. In fact, we are very like an honest man paying his taxes. He pays them all right, but he does hope that there will be enough left over for him to live on. Because we arc still taking our natural self as the starting point….
The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says “Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it… Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.”
Both harder and easier than what we are all trying to do. You have noticed, I expect, that Christ Himself sometimes describes the Christian way as very hard, sometimes as very easy. He says, “Take up your Cross”—in other words, it is like going to be beaten to death in a concentration camp. Next minute he says, “My yoke is easy and my burden light.” He means both. And one can just see why both are true (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, New York: HarperCollins, Jun 2, 2009, 195–197).
FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
- Why wasn’t the boy’s mother mad that he gave away the new coat she made him?
- Why wasn’t the boy cold after giving away his coat?