There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "all right then, have it your way." C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis is my favorite author and thus it pains me to have to say that on this one point, I disagree with him.
I would posit that there are not "two kinds of people" - but rather there is only one kind of person, a human one, and that any one of us may have chosen to be in either of these two positions at different times in our lives.
Jesus is the only person - both fully human and fully God - who could and did consistently, without fail, always say to the Father, "Thy will be done."
Much like the fast-food ad that encourages us to "have it your way", I have sometimes decided to do just that. Not that I would have acknowledged it at the time, because we do have an ability to justify, disguise, and deny our own motives, even to ourselves. That is why Jeremiah wrote, "The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it?"
Yep - been there, done that. That is the bad news. The good news is that when we turn around - repent - and ask God for His will to be done, He forgives and restores. Some of us only learn the hard way.
Where I do agree with the Lewis quote above is in the fact that we cannot be in both camps at the same time. We are either striving daily to say (and act upon) "Thy will be done" - or we are actively walking away and God must respond with, "all right then, have it your way." As Joshua said to the people - "Choose you this day whom you will serve."
That is the marvelous fact of God's love and grace - He does give us the choice. As Jan Karon writes in her new book, In The Company of Others, God gives us free will in order that we may give it back to Him. Someone asks, "Well, why give it back, since He gave it to us in the first place?" Her response is classic.
"Because we don't know what to do with it." On our own we will inevitably use our free will to make some wrong choices in life. But when we give it back to Him, He then gives us the grace to make the right choices.
I love C.S. Lewis and have read nearly everything he ever wrote, some things multiple times. But on this one point, as an old acquaintance of mine used to say, "I think he may have gotten a little tipped over." He was human, after all. Still, it is a very thought-provoking perspective, and has more truth in it than we might be comfortable with. & & &
Today's In Other Words is hosted by Esthermay at The Heart of a Pastor's Wife. She has some excellent comments about the will of God by decree and the will of God by command. Please stop by.