A beam from the Glory

by rosshauck on November 15, 2011

“the sweetness[of pleasures] is a beam from the Glory.  I have tried to make every pleasure into a channel of adoration.   I don’t mean simply giving thanks for it.  One must of course give thanks, but I meant something different…Gratitude exclaims, very properly, “How good of God to give me this.” Adoration says, “What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations are like this!”  One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun….” 

C.S. Lewis

I have found myself using this quote often in the course of conversations, particularly that last phrase, “One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun!”

In my opinion, this poetically encapsulates a great philosophy.  For Lewis the created world became a “beam from the Glory”, an echo of eternity, a hint at the Holy, and ultimately a medium for worship.  Is this not the truest and highest goal of all created things?  To point towards their Creator, and in so doing, bring the Creator credit and praise for the handiwork?  Imagine being guests for dinner, and feasting on a multi-course gourmet meal.  How silly, and indeed how rude, it would be to never once give the hostess or chef a remark of gratitude or recognition.  Certainly we’ve all delivered our “thank you”, or “this looks and tastes wonderful” at such an event.  Imagine now that you were the host and your guests came, ate, and left without any kind words or gestures for you hard work.  Would that not smack of entitlement and selfishness?  Would you not be hurt or offended?

Oh, how often we take for granted the wonderful created things the Lord has given us.  The feast for the senses that he has created in the world around us.  The beauty and splendor of music and art.  Our Creator has given us these things for our joy, and indeed He does not need our praise or thanks.  But, He does ask for it.  Indeed, He commands it.  It is a weighty love that calls us out of our selfishness.

May we get back to the liberating business of praising our creator with our music and art.  May we cease the blind and empty pursuit of pride, plaudits, or popularity, congratulating ourselves for what was originally a gift.  Let’s not rob the glory.

The beam originates from the sun.  Music comes from the great Composer.  Indeed, as the Psalmist says, “He is the song”.  He deserves all the glory, all the praise, and all the honor.  May it be so in all our artistic endeavors, all our work, and all our lives.