A Counselor Reflects on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

“God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself… God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing (p. 50).” Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

What are you using to fuel your life?

  • Acceptance
  • Achievement
  • Appearance
  • Athleticism
  • Family
  • Influence
  • Intelligence
  • Morality
  • Wealth

You could add to the list. These are all things that can easily become “why we get out of bed in the morning” or the basis of our personal identity. But they are all deficient fuels for life. Each one will wear us out if we depend on it, because each one is unsustainable and ultimately non-dependable.

There is only one fuel that is self-sustaining and completely reliable. That is God. The only problem (as compared to the other “fuels”) is that God is also uncontrollable. We decide what to do with each of the other fuels. God has already prepared what He will do with/through us (Eph. 2:10).

We might be tempted to think that we prefer these alternative fuels because they are more tangible than God (which might have some validity). But I would dare say it has more to do with our sense of control than any of the “five senses.”

We like to choose who we want to be accepted by and see if we can make them like us. We want to choose the achievement we like best and see if we can tackle it. We define beauty according to our standards and see if we can live up to it. Influence is a commodity we believe we know how to manage. We prefer to narrow our pursuit of morality to those virtues we hold highest. We want to accumulate wealth to fulfill our dreams or attain our markers of security.

If we ran on the more (most) dependable fuel (the fuel which we were created to run on), then we would surrender these freedoms. At least we would surrender the freedom to define these “alternative fuels” as we please.

God has promised to provide our every need (Phil. 4:19), but He has not promised to do so in a Build-A-Bear fashion. We want a Build-A-Bear life. But that has been the temptation from the very beginning (Gen 3:5). The serpent enticed Eve to attain the ability to discern good and bad for herself—to acquire a personal definition and taste for the things that really mattered. Since then our lives have been running down on every “alternative fuel” imaginable.