Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mid-week reminder: My whole nature leaps back to the toys

I opened up my A Year With C.S. Lewis yesterday morning, smack to a page that I just had to share. The structure of putting it into a poem is my particular little genius (ha!)...

My own experience is something like this. I am progressing
along the path of life in my ordinary contentedly fallen
and godless condition, absorbed in the merry meeting
with my friends for the morrow or a bit of work
that tickles my vanity today, a holiday or a new book,
when suddenly a stab of abdominal pain that threatens serious disease,
or a headline in the newspapers that threatens us
all with destruction, sends this whole pack of cards tumbling down.

At first I am overwhelmed, and all my little happinesses
look like broken toys. Then, slowly and reluctantly,
bit by bit, I try to bring myself into the frame of mind
that I should be in at all times. I remind myself
that all these toys were never intended to possess my heart,
that my true good is in another world and my only real treasure
is Christ. And perhaps, by God's grace, I succeed,
and for a day or two become a creature consciously dependent on God
and drawing its strength from the right sources.
But the moment the threat is withdrawn, my whole nature
leaps back to the toys: I am even anxious, God forgive me,
to banish from my mind the only thing that supported me
under the threat because it is now associated with the misery
of those few days.

Thus the terrible necessity of tribulation
is only too clear. God has had me for but forty-eight hours
and then only by dint of taking everything else away from me.
Let Him but sheathe that sword for a moment and I behave like a puppy
when the hated bath is over--I shake myself as dry as I can
and race off to reacquire my comfortable dirtiness,
if not in the nearest manure heap, at least in the nearest flower bed.

And that is why tribulations cannot cease
until God either sees us remade or sees
that our remaking is now hopeless.

-from The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis

Bless you, dear Clive. I really wish I had known you. You certainly wrote as if you know me.

And in alignment with these thoughts, a video crossed my path as well. It's not very long (in the TED world, at least), and he makes some thoughtful points:

Such a great reminder to live well, choose happiness and give up the need to be right. Oh, and that parenting thing too, definitely that. :)


  1. Wow... lots to ponder. Thank you for sharing this. I read a lot of CS Lewis in high school and it definitely changed my thinking about so much...

  2. Thank you for the reminder of Mr. Lewis...I am very thankful for his ability to put into words those things I think of a lot.

    His bio (that you bought me) is an excellent way to really feel acquainted with the man. He has been such a blessing.


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