*This isn’t a perfect illustration, but it entered my mind when I was trying to explain why we pursue purity to a group of girls. Over the past two weeks the thought expanded into this.
Imagine there’s a kingdom. In this kingdom there is laughing, singing, dancing and rejoicing often. There is, of course, tragedy and sadness, but in the end the pain always makes the joy stronger.
There are two sides to the kingdom. One side, stretches on forever. No matter how deep you go, you will always keep going further up and further in. You will always learn more, discover more, enjoy more. On the other side of the kingdom, is a massive cliff. The ledge is sharp, and walking alongside it even the smallest misstep could send you to your death. Now, you would think the fascination would not be with the ledge, but with the joys of the kingdom, right? However, masses of people are captivated by the ledge. It sounds absurd, right? When there is an endless supply of true delight and knowledge just waiting for them on the other side. If only they could walk away. Everyday they come to the edge wondering how close they can get before they fall. Many people have fallen before, yet somehow no one seems to learn how dangerous it is. And the saddest part? Many people in the kingdom waste every day of their lives at that ledge. Prancing on the edge to get their momentary thrill. Their minds, their hearts are enthralled with that pseudo-joy, those fleeting feelings.
Yet there are some, who press onward. “Further up and Further in!” they chant as they march on. Some stop at some areas of the journey and become content to live there. Yet still others keep walking, and learn how to encourage each other when they grow weary. By experience and practice they discern good from evil, and extend grace to the faults they see in one another. They sing, read, pray, and dance together as they journey on. In this company, a single purpose binds them into a fellowship. Orphans find parents, daughters and sons find siblings, single ones find their purpose, and lonely men and women find their beloved. And the best part? As they go the kingdom only becomes more beautiful to them. As they are shown truths of the kingdom, the glory of it only shines all the brighter. Many times the journey becomes perilous and fear fills them. Many times they are caught in a frustrating cycle of turning back and then pressing forward once more. The world considers them the dregs of all things, even though the world is not worthy of them. They seek nothing but grace, because they know in any weakness, He is made strong. Unlike the rest of the world, they rejoice in suffering because they know it brings about hope. Though they cry and mourn for a time, they rest in the truth that all their tears are in His bottle. They set their hope fully on the promise of grace, and they are as bold as lions. As they travel they see the seasons change. They see the grass wither and the flower fade, yet His Word endures, it remains an imperishable seed. Indeed they see past the outward appearance in every circumstance, and ask their Father what purposes lie underneath. Though they struggle against their desires, greater and more glorious desires to find their Father fill them. And where does their journey end you may ask? One day, maybe even without noticing, they step straight into eternity.
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3
Quotes from the Last Battle by C.S Lewis p.177 and p.183