Thoughts of a quote, from a letter, used to clarify a misquote…

One of the awesome parts of getting to be in YWAM is the emphasis on continued learning – that learning may come through, schools, reaching out to people older than you, listening to people younger than you, and, one of my favorites, paying attention to what goes on around you.

Ok, maybe that is my take on learning, but this is a cool movement of folks to do that alongside of.

In that spirit I was reading a Christianity Today article sharing about a book to be released sometime next year, titled, the Misquotable C.S. Lewis. You can read the article for your self here. As I read through the list I found the insights interesting, but when I came to number seven, something in its explanation caught my eye.

The quote in question was this, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

Now, the article explains, if you drop the “far, far”, it does read as written by C. S. Lewis. However, its context is a little unclear. The writer explains that it is more than just a suck it up moment or quotable phrase, its context is that it was written to a lady that feared her own coming death. The quote is preceded by this, “Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret?”

As I process this there is a deep calling inside myself that what was questioned and said is true. Has this world been so kind that I should leave it with regret?

This isn’t just a broken way of thinking, questioning existence, but it feels like this is a question processed in experience, with heart. I am not an expert on C. S. Lewis at all. Though, what I do know of him is that he is held in high regard as a writer and a thinker. I also know of him as the young man who went to World War 1, the man who lost his wife, and the man who served through the bombing raids against London. Even in all this he is famous enough that a book would get written of the misquotes attributed to him.

We live in an amazing world created by an amazing God, don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for that, though, I am much younger than C. S. Lewis and I can see that this world is not as it was intended. We ourselves are not often inline with what God desired. He saw the World Wars and we have seen some of the world created by them. War is seemingly unending. Peace is short-lived. We live in a broken world.

What then should be our response?

This may be a divided opinion, and each of us may be called by God in different directions, but I find my place in embracing the brokenness in hope that God will show up and turn it around. I have incredible hope for northern Iraq and for people in the middle-east. The places that are the worst and the hardest get my attention. There is no human answer for the difficulties that we face other than our cooperation with God.

In my humanity I can show preference and value one beautiful thing above another to a fault, that is something that God needs to change in all of our hearts, and there are times that I’ve looked back and saw that. Yet, God does keep working on that. Having hope for another nation (let alone state) is something that God did in my heart.

When I reread C. S. Lewis’ question to the lady approaching death, “Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret?”, my response is no – this world hasn’t been kind. There have been kind people, incredible moments of beauty, but it hasn’t been kind. The greatest kindnesses have been shown by God who has continued to stand kind and beautiful when this world failed to do so. And, in return, I press into God and seek out ways to champion that kind and beautiful world. There is no regret in that.

God has put a call on each of our lives to Him and each other, it is a real privilege to get to do that in Youth With A Mission. Since coming out my own heart for God, people, and the nations have increased. I encourage you to ask God if the life of full-time service is for you as well!

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