It can be helpful to think of our physical nature as a “car,” a temporary vehicle that we must maneuver through life. I got this idea from C. S. Lewis’ chapter “Nice People or New Men” where he describes the temperament of people as the “wretched machine” that they are “trying to drive” (Mere Christianity 167). That our “machine” is “wretched” isn’t always so obvious in the first decades of our lives. Perhaps this is because our identities then are often on autopilot, with the brain/body’s genetic programming firmly in the driver’s seat.
But, as the days and years go by, we become aware of the frailties and flaws and quirkiness of the “machine” we’re driving. The natural life wears us out and breaks us down, sometimes offering a very narrow view of the road ahead. At that point, it’s helpful to know that consciousness, the subjective individuality of who we are, is not only the actual “driver” but the “living soul” that God inspired us with. Christ comes to us in consciousness. And if we allow it, the Lord will steer a straight and true course into the home of God’s heart.