November 13, 2010
Anybody can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple. Charles Mingus
I’ll one up Mr. Mingus. It takes genius to make the complicated simple. C.S.Lewis is my favorite “mortal” creative genius; his Chronicles of Narnia are the Occam’s Razor of biblical metaphor. Two of Lewis’s quotes – one from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the other from Prince Caspian have become my mental mantras to remind me that God is THE creative genius:
At the end of the story Lucy creeps back to the wardrobe but finds she cannot reenter Narnia. Unknown to Lucy the Professor is sitting in the corner; take a look:
“It will probably happen when you’re not looking for it.” Absolutely! It (whatever we want to happen) never happens when we’re looking for it. God always shows up in an unexpected way, and at an unexpected time with his unexpected solution.
Which leads to my second favorite quote, this time from Prince Caspian:
“Nothing happens the same way twice.” If it’s true that IT will happen when we’re not looking for it, and IT will be different than anything we have ever experienced or imagined, then we can assume and rejoice in the fact that The Almighty loves the element of surprise. The only catch is, we’ve got to trust Him that he is in control and knows what He’s doing.
If we believe He’s “all that”, which of course He is, then we can follow the Professor’s advice with my third favorite quote (surprise, there’s three) when he suggests to Lucy that it’s “best to keep your eyes open.”
July 15, 2008
At the call, Levi leaves all that he has – but not because he thinks that he might be doing something worth while, but simply for the sake of the call. Otherwise he cannot follow in the steps of Jesus. This act on Levi’s part has not the slightest value in itself; it is quite devoid of significance and unworthy of consideration. The disciple simply burns his boats and goes ahead. He is called out, and has to forsake his old life in order that he may “exist” in the strictest sense of the word. The old life is left behind, and completely surrendered. The disciple is dragged out of his relative security into a life of absolute insecurity (that is, in truth, into the absolute security and safety of the fellowship of Jesus), from a life which is observable and calculable (it is, in fact quite incalculable) into a life where everything is unobservable and fortuitous (that is, into one which is necessary and calculable), out of the realm of finite (which is in truth the infinite) into the realm of infinite possibilities (which is the one liberating reality)….Beside Jesus nothing has any significance. He alone matters.
Entrepreneurs of Life
“Will we ever go back?” Lucy asked.
“I should think so; but it will probably happen when you’re not looking for it.”
Lucy and the Professor in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
What happens when you combine the highly improbable (Black Swan) with infinite possibilities (The Mystery Box)? Well if you believe there is no God, you experience the perpetual perception of chaos with the sense that your feet are firmly planted in mid-air. If on the other hand you believe in God (and his Son) you can experience what Levi (Matthew) did when Jesus looked at him and said, “Follow me.” In other words, you hear His call.
What can appear as an existence of continual uncertainty is, to the Christian, a world of Adventure with incalculable and infinite possibilities. As those who believe, all we have to do is prepare…prepare, and listen.
We can help our young men to be ready for His call; we can encourage them to embrace a future with highly improbable and infinite possibilities. We can teach them the Heavenly Hat Trick.