Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Endless Journey

C. S. Lewis, in his wonderful little book, The Great Divorce, has a character, an Anglican bishop, who when offered a chance to enter heaven, decides to go back to hell instead. Why? Because he would miss his theological discussion groups. In heaven, what would there be to talk about? Wouldn’t it be terribly dull to be where all the answers are known and Truth is obvious? Where would be his intellectual fun?

Is that why some people belittle us, who confess that Christ, the Light of the World, has shone upon us who walked in great darkness? “We have seen the Light”, we sing with grateful hearts, “The true Light. We have received the heavenly Spirit. We have found the true faith: worshipping the undivided Trinity, Who has saved us.’” Is that why people assert that such words as these are arrogant – because they enjoy the questions so much they do not actually want any answers?

I think that’s only true for some of them. Other people do not want solid answers because, failing to appreciate the catholicity of Christian doctrine and praxis, they want the freedom to adjust it to their contemporary, cultural understandings. Other people, in effect denying Christ, simply do not believe there exists anything that is knowable as absolutely true.

But those are other subjects. For people who don’t want answers simply because they think having them would be boring, I have some good news: finding Truth will never be boring, because Truth is infinite. Finding Truth will not end your journey; it will be only the beginning. It will not give anyone all the answers, but will raise increasingly more questions. Finding the Truth will open up ever new vistas, further horizons. Even in paradise, when we see Him face-to-face, there will be infinitely more to learn, countless more ways to keep growing. And that, surely is the kind of endless journey we all want to be on, isn’t it? I mean what kind of a journey is the other, in which definitive answers are taboo and you are “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”? (2 Timothy 3:7)


GretchenJoanna said...

You've explained two facets of Orthodoxy that I've discovered: on the one hand, We have found the true faith, and it's the endless discussions that are now boring. On the other hand, that faith is so deep and the treasure box never to be got to the bottom of, because it is the Holy Trinity, Christ and is Church, and known not by discussing, but by living with all of our body, soul, and spirit.
Thank you, Anastasia!