I finally finished “The Pilgrim’s Regress” by C.S. Lewis. It’s a tough read and frustrating at times because it is, as Lewis himself says, “I find its chief faults to be those two which I myself least easily forgive in the books of other men: needles obscurity, and an uncharitable temper.” Despite this, there are some great nuggets of wisdom in it. The basic premise is that a normal human named John feels a supernatural desire for something more. He has been raised Christian in the town of Puritania and therefore has only heard about rules and not so much about grace. The book follows his journey to find that desire (mimicking Lewis’ own road to Christianity) through various philosophies. His long journey leads him back to Christianity, but now with the true understanding of the reason for the rules – God’s love, not His wrath. And now an understanding of religion that is centered on grace.
In the beginning of the book he states,
“At first he tried very hard to keep them all (RULES), but when it came to bedtime he always found that he had broken far more than he had kept; and the thought of the horrible tortures to which the good, kind Landlord (GOD) would put him became such a burden that the next day he would become quite reckless and break as many possibly could; for oddly enough this eased his mind for the moment. But then after a few days the fear would return and this time it would be worse than before because of the dreadful number of rules that he had broken during the interval.” pg. 6
Can anyone relate to this? I sure can. And there are days when I still think this way. It’s only natural considering everything else around us is telling us that our worth is based on what we do and how hard we work. What scares me is that this mis-understanding of God is what drives many people away from God. It is completely understandable if the only religious messages you’ve ever heard is “you have to follow all these rules that are impossible to keep and therefore you will go to hell.” I think my church was pretty good about preaching grace, but I still had to have this personal “a-ha” moment.
So my question for you: was there a sermon, book, article, conversation or experience that gave you that “a-ha” moment about God’s grace? Share and discuss below or on the Facebook page!