Towards the end of last semester, Dr. Weeks offered his "Last Lecture," an event hosted by Mortar Board that gives a professor the opportunity to deliver a speech as if it were his last. It was a busy night; I had work and night class before going to a swap and mystery date, but a friend prompted me to come catch the tail end. I obliged and slipped into the back, peering over the last row of the auditorium. It was teeming with people, all leaning in close to hear.
I joined the cluster of people in the "standing room only" crowd and began to listen. It was apparent that he had just shared the Gospel in his talk, and as he closed, he shared this quotation from the conclusion of the Chronicles of Narnia:
"And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before." - C. S. Lewis The Last Battle
He drew the clear analogy between this passage and the promise of heaven after life on earth before saying that he wished everyone in the audience would be able to join him there one day. It was a novel moment, and it left as quickly as it came. I saw a friend and began talking to him about the impending Christmas break as we left the building.
I said goodbye and headed into the rush of the evening: briefly popping in at the swap, then barely pausing to eat dinner before proceeding to the next party. The words of that Lewis chapter never set in that night; I was still caught in this story. It takes time to reconcile the idea that we were made for something outside of this planet. We have not yet made it to chapter one.
If we are not careful, our social engagements, classwork, and extra-curricular commitments cloud our schedules. The weekly rush muddles our priorities. We get lost in the haze and end up directionless in the aftermath of activity.
However, if we devote ourselves to Christ, then the rush of life all has a purpose. We can use the day to day things to point other people to Christ. We can live in community with our close friends around us. We can greet the grind with a grin because we know we are made for something greater. We can celebrate eternity every day.
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." Hebrews 12:1-2 a.
May these writings find you in good health as the new year turns. May we look to Christ daily and look forward to Chapter One of eternity with Him.