My friend Sarah is letting me borrow a couple of C. S. Lewis books, The Four Loves and The Weight of Glory (which contains essays from sermons). I had only read excerpts from The Weight of Glory until last night.
There are so many different threads of thought that have sprung from what amounts to only twenty pages of words. I am constantly battling in my mind the thoughts of sin, grace, love, and conviction. How are they all tied together? How are they all balanced? Christian artists seem to struggle with this to an even greater degree for how does one keep one's art true to life, true to the message of fallen humanity in need of being rescued, without straying from the "squeaky clean"? How do you present a Christian struggling at times with their own brokeness as the Lord sanctifies them and heals them? It's a process, which means Christians still sin, so therefore even Christian characters should still sin.
God's grace is so vast. The weight of glory rests on each of us. Each time I think I get a clear picture of what living by and in the Spirit means, it becomes all fuzzy again. Each time I think I understand what the definitions of legalism, licentiousness, and grace are, another layer of truth comes across my path, and I'm baffled. How does one live in the world and not be of it? I find comfort in Martin Luther's summary of how to live life: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, then do whatever you want." It's love that keeps me going.
It's hard though to not stop and think and wonder.
Those who have attained everlasting life in the vision of God doubtless know very well that it is no mere bribe, but the very consummation of their earthly discipleship; but we who have not yet attained it cannot know this in the same way, and cannot even begin to know it at all except by continuing to obey and finding the first reward of our obedience in our increasing power to desire the ultimate reward.--C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
Like Sarah, I wish I could post the whole essay on my blog that everyone could read it.