Thursday, December 22, 2005

Time to Read and Ponder

One of the things that I like about being home is having the luxury of time to read. I used to try to make myself read deep, intellectual, challenging works whenever I was home - after all, reading time is precious enough, and I ought to make the most of it! Nowadays I try to let myself read whatever I want to read. I've been reading The Joy of Music by Leonard Bernstein, and then last night I picked up Chesterton, picking through underlined sentences from the many previous times I've read his works like Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. What is it about authors like Chesterton and Lewis that reach right to your softest spots, sneaking into your heart and placing within it a pang of... well, you probably know the feeling. It's the Lewisian Surprised by Joy kind of feeling: "an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction."

One of the difficulties that often comes along with the wonderful gift of having been raised in a strongly Christian home is the risk of finding Christianity to be, well, commonplace. Even boring, I daresay. And isn't that the whole point of Chesterton's idea for a novel involving the explorer - he sails the wide world and thinks he's found a new land, only to find it the familiar and wonderful homeland he had left, having gained something new along the way through the journey. I think that reading Chesterton or The Chronicles of Narnia can reawaken this wonder in us very accutely. We rediscover the things we've grown accustomed to - the gravity and splendor and beauty and goodness of Aslan, the terror and wickedness and seduction of the White Witch, and of course, the childlike faith and trust and wonder of Lucy. (FavoriteBoy took me to see The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe right before we both left school to return to our respective homes for Christmas. I loved seeing it with him, and I may write a few thoughts on the film in the near future... although, everyone and his grandmother has already posted their own reviews, and I fear that mine would be a mere conglomeration of all the others in the end.)

How is it that the beauty and wonder of what we believe to be true can become so commonplace? What is normal about believing in a God who is the maker of heaven and earth? How is is boring to affirm that Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, all for the sake of suffering for our sins? How can we become dulled to the fact that on the third day He rose again, in accordance with the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven to take His place at the right hand of His Father? It's amazing...

1 comment:

  1. I just realized that somehow I had skipped a few posts. I like the story of your dad above--I hope you DO figure out what's going on soon!

    This is such a great "review" of Chesterton, Sarah. I was just thinking something similarly today when I finished reading 1 Corinthians: it seems like the gospel is too wonderful to be true, so we don't always act out what we believe. We're hiding from too much glory and too much goodness (if there is such a ting), which is really... silly of us! :)