April 28, 2009

On Doing Good

I've been reading through the Narnia series with Elizabeth. I'm enjoying them immensely; they are such lively tales!

A while ago, I read these sentences from The Horse and His Boy. The background: Shasta has just rode a horse/walked across a desert and run himself ragged helping his friend to escape a ferocious lion. Almost immediately, he's told to RUN on (without his even more weary companions) to give some crucial news to the King of Archenland. Then the text reads:
Shasta's heart fainted at these words for he felt he had no strength left. And he writhed inside at what seemed the cruelty and unfairness of the demand. He had not yet learned that if you do one good deed your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one.
I bent the corner of a perfectly lovely library book, to make sure I could find the quote later.

Pondering it caused me to think of this passage from Galatians 6, most specifically verse 9:
7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Lewis' observation is right on. There are times that, in my own energy, I can manage to do some good things: make a meal for a needy family, give someone a ride, talk to a new person, etc. But to continue doing good, when I'm tired, grumpy, or just plain into myself, THAT does not come naturally or easily. I'm grateful that we're called to do this kind of ceaseless good AFTER we're given the Spirit, the only One who could sustain us in doing good without growing weary. I need to remind myself, when I'm feeling weary, when I'm lacking love, when I'm indulging the sinful nature, that the Spirit is willing and ABLE to transform me. In this we die a little more to self and we enjoy a little more of what it means to walk with God, who did us the ultimate good in redeeming our souls from a pit of eternal death! So it looks like this maybe? Jesus died because we could never do enough good to save ourselves ... but then calls us and enables us to do good without getting weary, to the praise of His glory.

I'm always wanting to be recognized for doing good. How about you?

I've had this post in the works for ages, and decided I should finish it up and post it. I hope it's coherent! Does anyone else resonate with these lines from Lewis? Do you think it's a normal part of growing up? How about you folks well over 30 who read this blog? What do you think?

Oh yes, and what's amazing in the story is that Aslan gets Shasta to his destination. He's been directing his path all they way from where his journey started, in fact! Jesus, thank you for always being near.

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