Continued from Part 1…
“I’m not sure that I’ve got the exact point you are trying to make,” said the Ghost.
“I am not trying to make any point,” said the Spirit. “I am telling you to repent and believe.”
“But my dear boy, I believe already. We may not be perfectly agreed, but you have completely misjudged me if you do not realise that my religion is a very real and a very precious thing to me.”
“Very well,” said the other, as if changing his plan. “Will you believe in me?”
“In what sense?”
“Will you come with me to the mountains? It will hurt at first, until your feet are hardened. Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows. But will you come?”
“Well, that is a plan. I am perfectly ready to consider it. Of course I should require some assurances … I should want a guarantee that you are taking me to a place where I shall find a wider sphere of usefulness-and scope for the talents that God has given me-and an atmosphere of free inquiry-in short, all that one means by civilisation and- er-the spiritual life.”
“No,” said the other. “I can promise you none of these things. No sphere of usefulness: you are not needed there at all. No scope for your talents: only forgiveness for having perverted them. No atmosphere of inquiry, for I will bring you to the land not of questions but of answers, and you shall see the face of God….
Happiness, my dear Dick,” said the Ghost placidly, “happiness, as you will come to see when you are older, lies in the path of duty. Which reminds me. . . . Bless my soul, I’d nearly forgotten. Of course I can’t come with you. I have to be back next Friday to read a paper.1 We have a little Theological Society down there. Oh yes! there is plenty of intellectual life. Not of a very high quality, perhaps. One notices a certain lack of grip-a certain confusion of mind. That is where I can be of some use to them.”
C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
Ah, yes, to be of some use, to scramble for that wider sphere of usefulness, to find that special purpose that God has for us. Sound familiar?
It sounds scary, actually, considering the ghost’s obsession with his own talents and usefulness. I know many useful Christians and many talented souls still searching for their special calling.
Yes, God does have a special plan for us, albeit not hid as though we’re asked to join some divine game of hide and go seek. God has revealed it plainly. Our chief and highest end is to glorify God and to fully enjoy Him forever.2
For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Romans 11:36
Here lies our special purpose.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
Whatsoever we do… whether sweeping the streets, birthing a child, sailing the sea, writing a book, riding a camel, sleeping on a cot, scaling the highest mountains, or plunging a smelly clog… we are commanded to do all things big or small, grand or lean, noticed or hid… to the glory of Him who gave us life, goodness and much grace.
For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? 1 Corinthians 4:7
If we are useful, and I hope we are, it’s because God has fashioned and equipped us – has graciously blessed us with His gifts perfected in Christ. God has done so because He is good and worthy of all glory (not because we are great and indispensably useful).
So, let us do what we’ve been asked to do. It is more than enough.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
To what end? To see the face of God and to have all our questions stilled, all doubt dissolved, all tears wiped away in His love and glory.
1 But they all began to make excuses…
2 The Westminster Larger Catechism
“We walk into the future in God-glorifying confidence, not because the future is known to us but because it is known to God. And that’s all we need to know.” ― Kevin DeYoung, Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will