Trying to Drive a Wretched Machine

"You must therefore conceal from the patient the true end of Humility. Let him think of it not as self-forgetfulness but as a certain kind of opinion (namely, a low opinion) of his own talents and character. Some talents, I gather, he really has. Fix in his mind the idea that humility consist in trying to believe those talents to be less valuable then he believes them to be."

From The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

The devil telling a lesser demon how to keep his "patient" from doing Gods will with his talents.

I know everyone evaluates their life at the beginning of each year, what to change, what to get done, etc. What do we do with our dreams? Are they "of God"? How do we know? Why do some seem to hear so clearly but I don't? All this runs through my mind. People will tell me how talented I am but if one person says a negative word, it cuts away at the layers of affirmation an the negative replays in my mind way louder then the good.

When I'm deep in thought and prayer I will start asking myself; "what have I done with my life? Why haven't I used all the gifts God has given me? I hear the words of Doug Hastings,(a fictional charactor) the father of Scott Hastings the great dancer in one of my all time favorite movies, Strickly Ballroom...."We lived our lives in fear!!" Doug yells to Scott, Scott turns in slow motion to face his dad and realizes that fear is what led to his fathers life being so miserable. He didn't dance anymore, in fact his son never even knew he had ever danced, that he was once the greatest. But he dared to dance his steps, the steps he felt were bubbling over in him when he heard the music, it cost him the Pan Pacific Dance Championship and that was all that mattered to his wife and friends. If you don't dance the approved steps, you cant win, no matter how good you are. So, instead of dancing anyways, he and his friends let fear of being mocked and losing squash the gift he had and he became a shell of a man. I hear a voice saying to me.."We lived our lives in fear!!"

"IF you are a poor creature-poisoned by a wretched upbringing in some house full of vulgar jealousies and senseless quarrels-saddled, by no choice of your own, with some loathsome sexual perversion-nagged day in and day out by an inferiority complex that makes you snap at your best friend-do not despair, He knows all about it. You are one of the poor whom He has blessed. He knows what a wretched machine you are trying to drive. Keep on. Do what you can. One day (perhaps in another world, but perhaps far sooner then that) He will fling it on the scrap-heap and give you a new one. And then you may astonish us all-not least yourself: for you have learned you are driving in a hard school."

C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity

It's amazing how words can affect us. Why do we need them so much? Why cant we just hear what God has to say to us, about us? Sometimes I am talking to my kids or my husband and I think how much I sound like the devil, just negative mean stuff coming out of my mouth and I hate that. Oh how I fight against that. I really try to speak life into my family but the old flesh just keeps bringing back the familiar. It's easier to live in fear of failure then it is to step out on faith. Fear of missing God, making a mistake. I'm driving in a hard school,and a crappy car at that, but it's getting better all the time. God does change us and He fixes crappy cars.

"Self is made to be abdicated to God, yet the heavenly paradox is that in abdication it becomes more truly self after Gods own fashion."

C.S. Lewis


Cajun Tiger said…
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