Book Reference

The House Analogy

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis uses an analogy about being a Disciple of Jesus that I have found to be very meaningful lately.

Lewis says that our lives are like a house. Before we invite Jesus into our house, it is a filthy mess. A mess that we really aren’t able to do anything about. The plumbing and electricity don’t work properly, it’s dank and moldy, the whole thing is in a state of disrepair.

But when we invite Jesus in, he starts fixing the things that are broken. He starts cleaning up the place. We are ecstatic! This place that used to be so miserable and depressing is now becoming beautiful and joyful! We are so happy and thankful as Jesus makes the house livable.

Then, once he has finished repairing and cleaning up, we’re ready to enjoy living in the house with Jesus.

And that’s when he pulls out a sledge hammer and starts knocking down a wall. Then he rips the wallpaper off. Next he destroys the deck and starts pouring more foundation in its place so he can work on a new extension.

The thing is, God isn’t a housekeeper. He’s an architect. He’s not here to maintain the little house we’re in. He’s here to create the house he has in mind. And where the new house and the old house are not compatible, the old house has to go.

Early this year, God showed up in my life in a fresh and powerful way. He fixed several things that had worn down and broken. He cleaned the layer of dirt and dust that had covered everything, and I expected that with a clean house, it was time to start fulfilling my purpose.

But instead, he started renovations. I can’t get the party started while all this construction is going on. So I’ve had to wait, because demolition and construction takes time.

It’s easy to be excited when God is cleaning things up and making everything beautiful. It’s harder to keep your eyes on the goal when all the work he’s doing seems to be making a bigger mess.  But that’s what it takes for upgrades to occur.

So please, pardon my dust while God is working on me. Soon, I’ll be ready to fulfill the purpose that I’m being designed for by the ultimate builder.

God's Cooking

I think God works more like a crock pot than a microwave.

When you cook with a crock pot, you put in some base ingredients and let the juices of the ingredients mingle together and slowly absorb into the vegetables and meat and beans and whatever else you throw in there. Occasionally, you may open it briefly to add a new ingredient during the process.

But by and large, you give it everything it needs, then you apply heat and you wait. It simmers and slowly swirls around, enhancing flavor and texture over the course of a half a day.m cook slowly over the course of time. You let the juices of the ingredients mingle together and slowly absorb into the vegetables and meat and beans and whatever else you throw in there. Occasionally, you may open it briefly to add a new ingredient during the process.

A microwave? It just makes things really hot, really fast.

You can cook stuff in the microwave, sure. But it’s not going to taste anywhere near as good as the crockpot. Also, you’ll have to do a lot of preparation before the microwave if you want stuff to come out tasty in the end. The microwave doesn’t do anything to enhance flavor, and not a whole lot to enhance texture unless you get it ready for that intense burst of heat.

Crock pot cooking doesn’t need a lot of preparation. You just put the right ingredients in and close the lid.

We live in a microwave society. We want it all and we want it now. If I want chili, I don’t want it in 4 hours, I want it in 10 minutes. So I’m going to open a can of slop and nuke it. It’s not very good, but it’s good enough…I guess.

I don’t think God is a “good enough” God. He does it the right way instead of the easy way. He’s willing to take a longer process to get a better result.

God once told me ‘be more worried about who you are than where you are’. The journey, the process isn’t an inconvenience to him. It’s just as (if not more) important than the end result.

I read “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller this week and it really opened my eyes to this. God is telling a story in our lives. If you went to a movie and it was over in 5 minutes, you’d be ticked. If I said “But you saw the results!”, it wouldn’t satisfy you. You go to a movie to see the story start, and develop and then finish. You’re paying to go on a journey, not just to arrive at a destination.

So as you simmer and stew sometimes in life, don’t try to force God to rush. Half stewed potatoes aren’t very good.