Saturday, June 18, 2016

all good things?

Lewis tells us today about what is "real" in A Year with C.S. Lewis.

He says that people often tell us to watch for what things REALLY mean. And by that, they often mean the opposite of what really is. We find this in two common expressions that you've probably heard all of your life.

One of them is "All good things must come to an end." Apparently Chaucer said this. And one can see why it's a popular expression. But it hints at a deeper statement... one that is not only false, but maybe even dangerously so. I've shared in previous blogs about how, growing up, I always believed that things looked good on the surface... but if you dug down far enough, you would find the truth. And the truth, down under that happy facade, was bad. There was corruption down there. There was the "really" down there, which Lewis refers to.

But as I grew in my faith, I realized (during my time in the Jesuits) that when you really REALLY dig deep down, you find God. He is the ground of our being. He is what is "down there" when you dig deep enough. And He is ONLY good.

Which brings us back to the inherent falsehood of the phrase "All good things must come to an end." There is a deep, philosophical pessimism to this phrase. The truth of the matter is that only the GOOD things will NEVER come to an end. God, above all of them. But His creations, too. He makes good things, and He makes them eternal. The evil and pain and sorrow are all real... but they're temporary. They WILL pass away. All bad things must come to an end. But good is forever.

The second phrase is "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." Now, power does tend to corrupt. And if you give one person too much power, it does tend to corrupt them more. But only one being has absolute power. And that one being is absolutely incorrupt. He is beyond the possibility of corruption. Absolute power corrupts absolutely is absolutely wrong.

Both of these expressions, when corrected, give us a positive message. Power, while dangerous, is not inherently bad. Good things are the ONLY things that will last forever. These things can and will bring you joy, as you explore their depths.

God, help us to see the goodness that you place under, above, behind, and in all things. Thanks for being our ground of being.

1 comment:

julie reedy said...

Wow again, you really nailed these two sayings. I hope lots of people read this and see your insight into these sayings.