First Love, Motivation and Filters

From the book, The Great Divorce, by CS Lewis. It's my all time favorite book...

Why if you are interested in the country only for the sake of painting it, you'll never learn to see the country.

but that's just how a real artist is interested in the country.

No. Your forgetting, said the spirit. That was not how you began. Light itself was your first love: you loved paint only as a means of telling about the light..

Every poet and musician and artist, but for Grace, is drawn away from love of the thing he tells, to love of the telling till, down in deep Hell, they cannot be interested in God at all but only in what they say about Him.

The Great Divorce is a fictional account of people who are in hell, we take a bus ride to Heaven to see if they would like to stay there. This was a small part of a conversation between a person in heaven and a famous artist who came up from hell.

I think this section of the book is so convicting to me because everything in my world, as a writer, artist, blogger, pulls me toward making it all about living a good story and telling the story of others. We are encouraged as Christian's to make a point of living a better story, as if we are all secretly auditioning for a reality TV program on the God network. But the bottom line is not living a better story, but it is living as God intended.

I have heard more then once, from people who come to serve in the inner city or who go on Midnight Outreach, some variation of; "you will have some good stories if you go...I've come back with some very interesting stories." That is not what it should be about at all.

From the pastor who sees everything and everyone through a filter of "getting more people saved", who builds buildings they can't afford and tries every gimmick in the book to get more people in the buildings, because they're goal is to have more salvation's on the books, more tithers in the seats, to a singer who feels he must write one more great worship song so every experience, every prayer or encounter with God, is viewed through that filter, these are not bad goals in themselves, but when they become the motivation, if they are our filter we see everything through, they are evil, because they have taken the place of God and what He intended. They have taken the place of our first love.

We talk of Him being the first love, but how many of us really take time to ponder what that means? Telling people about him, serving people, telling their stories, none of that is what IT'S about. Only loving Him and His will must be our filter, our goal, our life.

I'm trying to get my head and heart around that. God help me.

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