Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)
C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham were the original “odd couple”. The movie “Shadowlands” tells the true story of how Lewis, a never-married, post-middle-aged scholar/teacher, living a protected, safe existence at English Oxford’s college, meets and falls in love with Mrs. Gresham, a Jewish-born/now Christian, and very outspoken American, soon-to-be-divorced poet.
It was Mr. Conventional meeting Mrs. Every Day is a New Adventure.
In the discovery process of these two lives joining, their common ground is that they were once both “confirmed unbelievers” who turned to Christianity. Joy’s line is classic: So, you mean we are both lapsed atheists?
Enter the witness of Solomon.
The wise king wrote much about family life and parenting. Training a child in the way (s)he learns best is an imprint on a soul; eventually all parental training becomes something unforgettable in the grown person.
In the lives of C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham the seeds of Christian faith were planted early, and only came to fruit in their later years. They both chose their faith intellectually before it blossomed within.
And, (give or take a few years) isn’t that the way it always happens?
We may be brought into the church when just a few weeks old, baptized and placed on the cradle roll; or some time later in life, a crisis awakens us to our need for faith. Or we may have been raised without ever darkening a church doorstep.
Either way, because of the faith of our parents, influence of a guardian, or witness of a friend, (whether in early life or later days) the seedling of faith will have its prevenient planting in our souls, and will bear its fruit; God says His Word will never return void (Isaiah 55:11).
In such a fashion we are all destined to become lapsed atheists; faith is inevitable in the sense that we are created to believe. And, because of free will, some choose the faith of the cross; others reject Christ, choosing to become God rather than worship Him.
Not all choose Jesus, but we all choose to place someone or something on the throne of our heart.
The seeds of faith in Christ were planted early, clearly and firmly by my parents, the believers in the church we attended and the lives of countless friends and acquaintances.
For a while I chose to walk away from that faith; but my atheism lapsed!
And I am forever thankful!
For You, Today…
Like the man on TV who asks, What’s in your wallet?, I would pose the same inquiry:
Who’s on your heart’s throne?