The Disappearing Gray

I guess this post could be subtitled: No Place Left to Sit…

Between 1938 and 1945, C.S. Lewis wrote a space trilogy. He began with Out of the Silent Planet, followed by Perelandra, and closing with The Hideous Strength. In these stories Lewis was trying to several things. The ones I have noted are:

  1. Redeem science fiction with imagination and spiritual honesty that does not shy away from the God of the Bible.
  2. Retell the story of Adam and Eve and the fall in a contemporary setting, laying out all the possible arguments pro and con for God and his prohibitions.
  3. Note that here on earth as we approach the culmination of history, the gray area, which allowed most of humanity the option of not having to make a definitive choice, was disappearing until all you would be left with was a binary choice: God or not God (Satan or however you want to define not God).

I enjoyed the series, especially the arguments in Perelandra as Edward Weston (the tempter) tries to seduce the Green Lady into falling away as Eve did. The Green Lady resists and does not fall like Eve and saves her world from dissolution. The arguments are enlightening and helpful in clarifying your own beliefs.

However, the one plot point of the series that affected me the most is the steady disappearance of gray or ability to sit on the fence until by the end of the series you only had two choices. There is no where left to hide. Which side you would choose became so obvious to you as you weighed the options. That most would choose not God, since it allowed them to keep the things that had become so important in their lives, was not surprising. Choosing God required sacrifice, giving up so much of what had made you who you were up to that point. So many people could not do that. As we approached the end fewer and fewer could justify to themselves making the sacrifices demanded.

Why does this idea resonate so strongly with me? Because for the first time in human history I see the gray disappearing…everywhere. Not just in the West but worldwide. In John 14:6, Jesus plainly explains the final dividing line, the choice that divides God from not God is stated as clearly as it can be. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” To choose God, you must choose Jesus Christ as your sole path the Father. He is the only means of dealing with your sin and failures. To choose not God, you reject Jesus Christ. You try any other path your heart desires to get there another way, that is if you even want to go there. So many people these days outright reject the God of the Bible and embrace instead Satan/Lucifer, the Light Bearer, as their choice for their eternal destiny. Their number is growing constantly.

No matter how you look at it though, the fence, the ability not to make either choice is quickly disappearing as Lewis predicted. I have made my choice and it is Jesus Christ and him crucified and resurrected as my redemption and my path to the Father. I know many who are unwilling to do that. They seek some other way, anything that reduces the sacrifices they are called to make.

Recently, my choice has been forcing me to sacrifice much of what made up my life up till now. I guess you could say I am going through a shedding process. I am getting down to the basics and trying to only hold onto the things that will have meaning in eternity with Christ in God. It is a slow and difficult process. Everything is so sticky… That has been and continues to be the most difficult thing I have ever done. However, as I see it now, it is a necessary process. I am 77 years old. I wish I had not started so late. But as the aphorism clearly states, “Better late than never”! I pray God grants me enough time to make significant progress before I am called home. That said, the way the world is moving, I don’t believe I have a lot of time left. None of us do.

So, my advice to you right now, right this minute, is to choose. Don’t waste any more time on the non-essentials. The saddest words in all of creation are, “I should have…”

God bless you, God keep you, and may his grace be upon you.

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