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[Nobody objects to getting the most out of life. Theoretically nobody should object to getting the most out of the author of life—if He exists. But, of course, there’s a catch. Being prepared to get the most out of the author of life means being prepared to enter a relationship. And relationships are always messy because you have to consider the desires, the preferences, the point of view of the other party; often they differ from one’s own. In the case of the deity every instinct tells us that they are bound to differ greatly. But even more important than the desire to avoid the ‘hassle’ of a relationship is the unease in the soul inspired by the idea of any deep relationship with the other. Perhaps no one described this reaction better than C. S. Lewis when he wrote: ‘An “impersonal God”—well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads—better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap—best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband—that is quite another matter.’ It is human nature to fear the unknown, to avoid risk, to resent being interfered with. And if getting the most out of the author of life means having to face the unknown, to embrace risk, or to greatly alter one’s beliefs or conduct, then the unspoken attitude of many people is: Forget it! I’ll do without. Can we blame them for being shy? Getting the most out of the author of life—if He exists—is something that involves acting against some of the strongest tendencies of human nature.]

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