Friday, July 01, 2005

A writing to B on fairyland

Hi B,

I read this by G.K. Chesterton from his piece titled 'Fairy Tales' in the book "All Things Considered":

"We are in this fairyland on sufferance; it is not for us to quarrel with the conditions under which we enjoy this wild vision of the world. The vetoes are indeed extraordinary, but then so are the concessions. The idea of property, the idea of some one else's apples, is a rum idea; but then the idea of there being any apples is a rum idea. It is strange and weird that I cannot with safety drink ten bottles of champagne; but then the champagne itself is strange and weird, if you come to that. If I have drunk of the fairies' drink it is but just I should drink by the fairies' rules. We may not see the direct logical connection between three beautiful silver spoons and a large ugly policeman; but then who in fairy tales ever could see the direct logical connection between three bears and a giant, or between a rose and a roaring beast? Not only can these fairy-tales be enjoyed because they are moral, but morality can be enjoyed because it puts us in fairyland, in a world at once of wonder and of war."

Chesterton says that we're living in God's story. Ravi adds on to this by saying that "Wonder by itself, unanchored in truth, cannot be distinguished from a fairy tale." He also said that "The world of a child may delight in the fantastic, but the world of an adult must move from what is merely fantastic to that which is fantastically true."

I have often thought of life this way, as a "true fairy tale." Christianity or rather Christ is my only support of that notion but one that didn't ring true often enough because I thought if it were true then I should be aware of more fantastic things or at least be more aware of the fantastic. If life is a true fairyland then it doesn't add up that I'm seeing nothing but mundane dealings in it. But I was wrong in making that assessment. Chesterton says that we are in a fairyland on sufferance. Like Uncle Andrew in "The Magician's Nephew", we've long since broken our veto so even the fantastic wouldn't look in the least interesting to us now. Without Jesus it's not possible for us to cross from this sorry state to where He intends us to be.

Something else I read today moved me. It's a quote by a guy named J.H. Oldham from Ravi's book "Recapture the Wonder":

"There are somethings in life, and they may be the most important things, that we cannot know by research or reflection, but only by committing ourselves. We must dare in order to know. Life is full of situations to which I can respond not with part of myself but only with commitment of my whole being."

That is the greatest challenge for me yet - to dare to fully commit myself in order to know God. I'm living off His wonderful concessions while wrongfully questioning His vetoes. It's a shame that I'm wearing out my how-comes.

Hope you are well. Thank you that I'm still wrestling with myself.


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