December 7, 2010

Ruminations on The Weight of Glory Brought on by . . . a Chick-Fil-A Video (?!?)

A friend of mine posted a link on Twitter to this video. It's a video from Chick-Fil-A -- not sure the context. It's too long to be a commercial. And really, other than being set in a Chick-Fil-A restaurant, it's not a commercial. It's actually a touching, beautiful reminder to how we should live our lives.

Recently I got into an online "discussion" with someone, where I was trying to make the same point this video makes. How often do we, wrapped up in our own lives, just choose to forget that every single person we interact with has a life of triumph and tragedy as well. That person whose tailgating us? Could be more to the story than that they are just impatient and inconsiderate. The teller at the store who was rude and not as quick as we'd like? Could be more to the story than just they're a jerk who doesn't care about their job or serving us. The person smiling at us and telling us everything is just fine? Could be more to the story than them just being fine.

A while back I refered to a C.S. Lewis quote from The Weight of Glory (in this post here). Here's the actual quote.

Here's the quote from his essay that sticks with me most, and has become the backbone to my dealings with other people and my own calling to children's ministry:

The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbour's glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the are and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is with immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. 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 -- no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins ins spite of which we love the sinner -- no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat -- the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

This is why we do what we do. Or it should be. It's a pretty tough standard, once you start applying it. (And I fail frequently, not just with "uninteresting" people, but with people in my own family.) But let's be honest . . . would you rather rather fail in trying to achieve a high standard than succeed at achieving a low one?

~ Ben

1 comment:

Rachael Hammett said...

Ben - Thanks for sharing this. Both the video and your words were encouraging. I'm forwarding the video and your quote by CS Lewis to a few friends who I believe will be encouraged by both!