“Do your own thing.” No doubt, this relatively modern catchphrase has had its share of variations since the dawn of mankind. If spoken to express the idea that we have freedom to make choices through God’s gift of free will, this saying can convey a modicum of truth. However, these days it is usually meant in an entirely different way–to announce to whoever is listening, “I am the author of my own life. I write my own story” and hence, “I make my life worth living.” The pied pipers of this world, in a profusion of ways, continually bombard us with this same mantra: just do your own thing, and voila! You too will find nirvana.
Too good to be true? Actually, too meaningless to even be sought-after when you think about it. The world routinely peddles the notion that we’ll benefit from forging our own path through life. However, the reality of the matter is laid bare in a piercing narrative by C.S. Lewis in the fourth installment of the Narnia Chronicle’s, The Silver Chair. In this scene Jill first meets Aslan, the lion (symbolizing Jesus). Jill grows thirsty and hears a stream in the forest. She finds the stream, but sees Aslan–a huge, still-as-a-statue, but fearfully alive, lion–resting between her and a refreshing stream. She waits.
“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.
“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.
“Then drink,” said the Lion.
“May I—could I—would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
“Will you promise not to—do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.
“I make no promise,” said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
“Do you eat girls?” she said.
“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion.
“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.
“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.
“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”
“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.
This illustration reveals the reality that everyone must face sooner or later: contrary to what has been so relentlessly promoted, to travel our own way leads only to a desert of spiritual dehydration. God made us as individuals capable of making choices, to be sure. But He also made us to depend on him both for our fulfillment and for our very lives. In John 4:14, Jesus says: “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
The choice is ours to make…to “do our own thing,” or to gratefully accept the life that God provides. “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” -Revelation 22:1
There is no other stream.
I hope this encourages you to quench your thirst today.
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