At a recent BBQ, I tossed out a simple question: “Anyone here familiar with C.S. Lewis?” Everyone over 30 looked at me like I had a third eye in the middle of my forehead. A young friend under 30 gave an answer typical of his youth, “He’s the guy who wrote the flick ‘Narnia.'” While the film is based on Lewis’s seven book series The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis is much more that ‘the guy who wrote the flick ‘Narnia.’ C.S. Lewis is considered one of the prominent Christian writers of the 20th century despite professing atheism as a teenager. In fact, it was his friend J.R.R. Tolkien [Lord of the Rings] who is largely responsible for Lewis’s ultimate conversion to Christianity.
While I do practice Catholicism, and if being a Christian means I believe in Christ and try my inadequate best to live my life like Christ, then I may be a Christian, though probably not a very good one. This blog, however is not exclusively a Christian blog.
With that said, the most important concept that will run consistently through this blog is a lesson I learned from C.S. Lewis’s essay The Case for Christianity. C.S. Lewis tells a simple story … If you invented an automobile and designed it to run on petroleum, it will not work if you attempt to use a different fuel. It may run for a while — even remarkably well — but in the final analysis, it will fail. Like C.S. Lewis, I believe God created the universe and HE is the fuel that powers it. If humankind attempts to fuel the universe by money, power, title, or anything else, it will fail. History attests to that fact. Civilizations rise and fall because each strays from the essential fuel required to power it: God.
Our society today is no different. History does repeat itself.
In May 2011, I attended my grandson’s high school graduation. It was the first graduation I have attended since my youngest son graduated from college in 2008. My grandson’s graduation is the first one I ever attended without a prayer to precede or at least follow the national anthem. The program called for a ‘moment of silence,’ which the principal did announce, but within five seconds, the ‘moment –‘ no more than two blinks of an eye — was over and everyone was invited to take his seat. Sadly, my oldest son told me that no school administrators or staff members attended the baccalaureate ceremony earlier in the week.
Spirituality is a core pillar of this blog. Spirituality is essential to the Vitruvian Man. In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Christ tells us, “So I say to you: … seek and you will find …” If you do not seek, you will not find. Nothing happens by chance. I emphasize that my spiritual strength comes from every place God has put it, from Jews, Christians, Celts, Native Americans, from Everywhere. I personally practice Catholicism, but I proudly wear a necklace inscribed with the Jewish ‘Shema,’ and I start my day with a Native American prayer.
For the Vitruvian Man to positively impact and change the world for the better, he must recognize and empower his day through the strength of God, and not try to substitute that spiritual strength and guidance with anything else. We must face and challenge the realities we confront, but we must teach our children that true strength and empowerment come from a world fueled by the power of God. Have no fear in stating that fact affirmatively, and make your life an example of the strength you receive from your Creator, not from a secular source that is merely an illusion.