Theme: Choosing Heaven: Eternity in the Here & Now
Topic: C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce
Choices – the ones we often take for granted or make excuses for – define us and shape our future existence, not only in terms of where we spend eternity, but also who we become. There is an urgent and pressing power that our internal choices have on determining our experience in both our present life and in eternity. This power is at the core of the Biblical command to “Choose Life.”
Choosing life is not simply a matter of making a single decision to follow God’s commands. To the contrary, it is a thousand daily choices – the oft tiny, repetitive choices of day to day belief and obedience. These choices sculpt and reflect the inclination of our souls and ultimately determine the presence of Heaven or Hell in our lifetimes on earth.
“Milton was right,” said my Teacher. “The choice of every lost soul can be expressed in the words ‘Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.’ There is always something they insist on keeping, even at the price of misery. There is always something they prefer to joy – that is, to reality.” (The Great Divorce, Chapter 9)
How do we fit that into what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the fierce urgency of now”? How can Heaven serve as a practical reality, giving shape to each of our days? Where will we find a holiness that we can embrace in our words and deeds and share with a world wrapped in pain and disbelief?
Come find out! Come away to the piney woods of Camp Allen, to good food and sunlit forest paths, to quiet moments of prayer and contemplation, and to laughter, learning, and community. Come hear Professor Joseph Pearce as he opens Lewis’s works to us and helps us see through the lens of his unique experience. Come to enjoy fellowship, to open your heart and mind, and to grow together as we learn to choose the ways of Heaven in our everyday lives.
Lewis exhorts us to just such a time as we shall share at Camp Allen this November. He reminds us that “we must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously.” Join us as we joyfully take each other seriously, growing more purposeful and real on this unforgettable weekend as we choose the present reality of Heaven.
“Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakable remains.”
– C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce