February 1, 2009

In A Corner? This Moment Contains All Moments

"This moment contains all moments." --C.S. Lewis

This famous C.S. Lewis quote comes from his book, The Great Divorce. The book is not about divorce, but is about how and why we make the choices that determine our final destinies. In The Great Divorce, the story's narrator takes a bus trip during which he observes people who are forced to confront (for the last time) their decision to embrace God's ways and purposes or to exist on their own terms.

A lot of us are in corners (financially or economically, relationally,etc.) and have to make decisions about what's next. Should we move or relocate our families? Should we call it quits on a marriage and accept the idea of starting over? Should we keep the job and risk a layoff or take the buyout offer? Should we loan that family member another $500? Should we let the house go, or use the last of our savings to make payments and hope things turn around before we run out of money?

In my experience, I have been in corners because I have procrastinated about making decisions or have engaged in what one blogger calls "magical thinking." At other times, another person's actions created a corner I could not have anticipated. In any event, I was in a corner and something had to be done.

Nearly ten years ago, I was in a corner not of my making. As I prayed, God spoke to my heart and let me know I was truly at a lifetime crossroad. I could choose to act from faith or from fear. I knew in that moment if I chose fear, I would spend the rest of my life living on "Scared To Believe Street." I wanted to choose the path of faith, but because I could not see where that path led, faith seemed more frightening than fear. I am thankful God gave me the courage to follow the path of faith. There have been twists and turns. Things I could never have imagined have happened. Many of them were good, others were not. God was always right there with me, making it work out for my good and His glory. Because I chose faith, God created new possibilities and options that would have never existed without the exercise of faith.

Would He have been there for me if I had chosen to act out of fear rather than faith? I believe He would have been, because He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. But I would have let Him down and disappointed myself. In choosing faith's way, I know I have opened the doors to more blessing and fulfilled purpose for myself and others than I would have found on the other road. It's been harder, but it's been better.

"This moment contains all moments." A decision made in a corner, in a moment of crisis, really does contain all moments. Our futures, our possibilities, our options, and our testimonies are often chosen in those moments of being "cornered." Delay is not an option, procrastination is not possible, and time is not waiting. In those times when "this moment contains all moments", I am grateful for God's presence and His assurance that I can chose faith over fear. A corner is not a place of failure: it's the place of the biggest possible choice, the greatest act of faith.

A Lion Chaser's Manifesto, by Mark Batterson

I will quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.

I will quit focusing on self-preservation and be willing to take risks.

I will quit trying to be who I'm not and start being myself.

I will quit holding out or holding back.

I will quit running away.

I will burn sinful bridges and blaze new trails.

I will not let what's wrong with me keep me from worshipping what's right with God.

I will go after the dream He's given me that's "God-sized" enough to fail without Him.

I will stop complaining and find creative ways to become a part of the solution.

I will step out of my comfort zone and value every experience--even the difficult ones.

I will worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks.

I will follow Him wherever He leads me.


John Baker said...

Hi Deborah, really nice post about CS Lewis' article. I started reading his [non-fict.] writing a few years ago and have yet to be disappointed.

- John

deborah evans said...

Thanks, John. Lewis is a writer I return to over and over. His ideas have spoken deeply to me at various stages in my life.