UNPLEASANT THINGS AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

In a letter to Arthur Greeves in 1943, C.S. Lewis penned the following words:

The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's "own," or "real" life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life - the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one's "real life" is a phantom of one's own imagination. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it's hard to remember all of the time. 

I read this last week and have been slowly turning the words over in my head as we settle back into our routines. Returning home has its many to-dos and catch-ups and visits from friends and looming deadlines for end of term papers and, yes, even a great need for sleep. When time is restricted, I easily begin to ignore people for tasks and become so singularly minded that I resemble something akin to a soulless machine. In my heart I recognise that I become fixated on the created, albeit false, need to accomplish. Or let's just call it what it is because it's most certainly an idol. I praise productivity as though it were godliness; something for which we should all be striving. In these moments, I lose sight of the purpose of humanity: to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. 

Likewise I am beginning to realise that the ways in which I process my daily interruptions shine a light into how I examine, think about, and respond to what one might call life's interruptions. As seen by my excessive and obsessive use of a daily planner and pencil, I struggle when I lack control. Plans provide comfort, schedules give peace, and a general knowledge of how-these-things-ought-to-play-out is more than appreciated. I like to visualise and think in terms of concrete plans, and when something threatens to alter that which I have so carefully crafted, I panic. I understand life's disruptions to be useless distractions from what ought to be happening in my life - my real life - and I try to forge ahead in hopes of maintaining my productivity and continuing with my list of desirable accomplishments. 

And yet when asked, I enthusiastically share that I am a child of God and because of that identity, I submit fully to the sovereignty of the great I Am. Cognitively, I understand that I am not in control and that my not being in control is a very good thing. A wonderful thing in fact. But the distance between my head and my heart is great, and what I know to be true in my head still struggles to manifest itself in my heart and consequently, in how I live. Lewis' words in the excerpt above reminded me to recognise the sovereignty of God in every moment. Perhaps even especially in the moments that I consider to be unpleasant. Acknowledge His sovereignty even more, child. Regardless of an event that drastically changes the course of my life or just the moments of my day, He is perfect in all things and His rightful control of His creation is to be trusted. What I have created - and what I am all too often overly focused on seeing come to fruition - is based in my finite mind. A mind described as small, worldly, and incapable of fully understanding His thoughts and ways. What He has created - and what He brings forth in these life interruptions - is based in his infinite wisdom and love. And it is my real life.