Oh, oh, oh! I should be moving clothes from the washer to the dryer. I should be unloading the dishwasher. But I sat for a few minutes with a cup of coffee to finish reading Chapter 2. It’s so good! And I have to tell you about it.
I’m offended by parts of this chapter. I mean, Donald Miller is a little insulting to the Republican Party. And I am, after all, a Republican. Aren’t all good Christians? 🙂 But it’s good for me to think about the things he brings up.
He includes a poem by C S Lewis that I had never read before. It might not be completely legal for me to type the whole thing out here, but pretend you’re in my living room and I’m simply reading it to you. 🙂
All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through;
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.
Peace, reassurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin;
I talk of love—a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek—
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.
Isn’t that exactly true?! At least it is for me.
Then Donald Miller writes, “I sat there . . . wondering if I was like the parrot in Lewis’s poem, swinging in my cage, reciting Homer, all the while having no idea what I was saying. I talk about love, forgiveness, social justice; . . . but have I even controlled my own heart? . . . . Six billion people live in this world, and I can only muster thoughts for one. Me.”
After writing about a friend’s confession of sin, he writes, “Designed for good, my friend was sputtering and throwing smoke. The soul was not designed for this, I thought. We were supposed to be good, all of us. We were supposed to be good.”
That’s it! We were supposed to be good. Somewhere deep inside us is the knowledge of that, that we were made for goodness. That when God thought of us, He thought, “Wow! That’s very good!” But the sickness of sin seeps in and messes up everything. We cannot be good. We’re broken.
We need Someone to fix us.
We are self-imprisoned; and left to ourselves, we keep ending up right where we began, with more thoughts of ourselves. That’s why we need a supernatural transformation. We need Someone to come inside us and start repairing all that internal brokenness.
I know I cannot quote the entire book, blog entry by blog entry. You all really should read this book. It will make you put your Christianity under a microscope. It’ll probably offend you a little too. But that’s OK. Sometimes it takes a little bit of that to make us really look at ourselves.