Saturday, March 31, 2007

"Angling for the rich moments"

From The Inklings:
In his book, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, C.S. Lewis writes:
"It is no good angling for the rich moments. God sometimes seems to speak to us most intimately when he catches us, as it were, off our guard. Doesn't Charles Williams say somewhere that 'The altar must often be built in one place in order that the fire from heaven may descend somewhere else?'" (Find this in chapter XXI)
Lewis is right on both counts. First there is no use in "angling for the rich moments." God is free and will meet us at the right moments. This very often is not at our bidding, but at our most inconvenient! God often interrupts my life at the busiest of times, not the quietest. .... Most of the time I believe God intersects our lives through the most ordinary and mundane moments, when we simply are not looking in his direction. To think that we can create a moment where it will insure that God is present is thoroughly presumptuous. I've known many a pastor and worship leader who will manipulate moments and simply try to create emotion that might pass for the Spirit of God. God is not often found in these moments. The rich moments are when we are "off our guard."

But this does not mean we shouldn't be disciplined in building the altar. .... At its best worship can be a sign and a foretaste of heaven, where for a few moments in our week, God can reveal himself to us. ....

So we build the altar week by week, not because we are angling for the rich moments with God, but because by so doing we are being prepared to see God's presence throughout the rest of our week. ....

Craig S. Williams
Orange County, California
Source: The Inklings: Letters to Malcolm....

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