I just read this brilliant little reflection by Lewis in The Joyful Christian, a collection of 127 readings from his various nonfiction works, including Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. This really does not need much by way of introduction, I think. Enjoy, and perhaps more importantly, allow yourself to be challenged if you’ve found yourself thinking of God in these terms!
“The Russians, I am told, report that they have not found God in outer space. On the other hand, a good many people in many different times and countries claim to have found God, or been found by God, here on earth.
“The conclusion some want us to draw from these data is that God does not exist. As a corollary, those who think they have met Him on earth were suffering from a delusion.
“But other conclusions might be drawn:
1. We have not yet gone far enough in space. There had been ships in the Atlantic for a good time before America was discovered.
2. God does exist but is locally confined to this planet.
3. The Russians did find God in space without knowing it because they lacked the requisite apparatus for detecting Him.
4. God does exist but is not an object either located in a particular part of space nor diffused, as we once thought ‘ether’ was, throughout space.
“The first two conclusions do not interest me. The sort of religion for which they could be a defense would be a religion for savages: the belief in a local deity who can be contained in a particular temple, island, or grove. That, in fact, seems to be the sort of religion about which the Russians – or some Russians, and a good many people in the West – are being irreligious. It is not in the least disquieting that no astronauts have discovered a god of that sort. The really disquieting thing would be if they had.
“Space travel really has nothing to do with the matter. To some, God is discoverable everywhere; to others, nowhere. Those who do not find Him on earth are unlikely to find Him in space. (Hang it all, we’re in space already; every year we go a huge circular tour in space.) But send a saint up in a spaceship and he’ll find God in space as he found God on earth. Much depends on the seeing eye” (5-6).
Have you ever in your reading come across that gem of an insight that got you so excited, you had to stop reading and share it with a friend?
Have you ever felt frustrated at the sheer quantity of good books that have been written, waiting to be read and discovered anew, knowing there simply isn’t as much time as we’d like to read all of them, much less reread the ones that merit the compliment?
Have you ever come to that place where you realize that books offer such a vast world of wisdom and delight and experiences, that you knew you had to begin capturing some of this for yourself, not only for your own education and enjoyment, but for better knowing how to do this thing called life?
This blog was born out of such experiences.
When we delight in something, we instinctively want to share it with others. That’s exactly what I want to do here. As someone who loves books and the treasures they have to offer, I invite you to join me as I share what I consider to be the “choice morsels” from my reading diet with friends and anyone willing to stop by. Following my interests, this blog will be heavy on liberal arts and humanities, theology and philosophy in particular; but you’ll find other subjects interspersed between Aristotle and Augustine, as I strive to wander out of my favorite neighborhoods into unfamiliar yet equally fascinating territory.
Thanks for reading!