In his work Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes “What God cares about is not exactly our actions. What he cares about is that we should be creatures of a certain kind or quality – the kind of creatures he intended us to be – creatures related to Himself in a certain way.” This insight speaks to me now as a mother in a way that maybe it never had before.
Here’s the thing. There are many days- I’m talking almost EVERY SINGLE DAY where I feel like I’m barely treading water for at least a moment. I’m wondering how much patience one requires to be a good parent and realizing that no matter how much it is- I’m falling far short. On those days I’m feeling like my actions suck. I yell. I lose my patience too often. I say things I don’t mean. I’m snippy and short. In other words I’m a giant B*#@. Don’t worry I’m not proud of it nor am I too proud to admit it, it is what it is. This idea that God intends us to be a certain way and to be in certain relationship with Him, this idea for me basically rocks. Because while it doesn’t exactly let me off the hook it is somewhat more forgiving than the idea that I must be perfect and do things perfectly-the end.
C.S. Lewis goes on to say something else that I find even more profound. “And as long as a man is thinking of God as an examiner who has set him a sort of paper to do, or as the opposite party in a sort of bargain- as long as he is thinking of claims and counter-claims between himself and God- he is not yet in the right relation to Him. He is misunderstanding what God is. And he cannot get into the right relation until he has discovered the fact of our bankruptcy.”
Now that I can get on board with. I mean seriously. Hell to the yes. How often I misunderstand who God is, how often I misunderstand who I am, how often do I feel like it’s all a test and I forgot to study and am totally failing. No. No. No. It’s just not. God isn’t the examiner waiting for us to complete the task at hand. God is the creator waiting for us to blossom or maybe even more aptly waiting for us to recognize that we’ve already blossomed and to see our own beauty.
I’m not sure if intention is always enough but sometimes it certainly has to be because while actions speak louder than words sometimes they are not at all what I’m intending. I am also not sure if I’m always in relationship with God the way that is intended…. scratch that… I know I’m not always in relationship with God the way that is intended.
What I do know is this. Sometimes I feel on top of the world and somedays I’m pretty positive someone is screwing with me, even though I hope and pray I’m wrong (and deep down I know that’s not how it works.) My intention is always to be a person of love. To share with others and make their lives better. Sometimes I show that through my actions like when I dedicate my time or energy to something. And sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I show it through my words of encouragement to someone in a time of need and sometimes I don’t.
But my hope today is that I can always show it in my intention. Others may not know my true intentions but that’s okay because if CS Lewis is on to something here in Mere Christianity, which I believe he is, “than if you are right with God you will inevitably be right with all your fellow-creatures.”
What is your intention today? How can that motivate you and help you to live a happier fuller life?