Monthly Archives: August 2015
C. S. Lewis is well known for his prodigious letterwriting and for his diary, later published in a book, entitled All My Road Before Me: The Diary of C. S. Lewis, 1922–1927.1 But he wasn’t the only Lewis to keep a diary. Both his brother Warnie, and his father, Albert, kept meticulous diaries as well.
May 20, 1925, was a pivotal day for C. S. Lewis. He landed a position as fellow and tutor in English at Magdalen College, with additional responsibilities to tutor in philosophy. But prior to this moment he had suspended writing in his diary for several months. Fortunately though, his father was maintaining his diary discipline. He recalls getting the news, Continue reading
Time is funny. On the one hand, it always moves at the same pace. Tick, tick, tick. On the other hand, it will speed up or slow down in proportion to how much you are enjoying the moment. The clock flies on the last day of summer vacation but seems to stop on the first day of school.
I’ve been surprised on occasion by how much I’ve accomplished in a very little amount of time. But I must also admit to being frustrated by how little I’ve accomplished in an entire day. Continue reading
There is a tension in Christian theology and practice between divine sovereignty and human responsibility. Orthodox theology maintains that God is sovereign. A non-sovereign God is an oxymoron.
But at the same time, the Bible clearly teaches human responsibility. We are told to pray for wisdom (James 1:5), to plan (Luke 14:28), and that someday each believer will “appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” ( 2 Corinthians 5:10). Continue reading
No matter how much you enjoy your vocation or the people around you, there are times when you need to do something else somewhere else. Some people go to the gym while others work in the basement or garage. When options are limited, some people simply need to “step out for a moment.” They have been swimming upstream so long that they just need to get on dry land to regain their bearings. Continue reading
It’s not a word one hears anymore. One dictionary defines it, “Prig: a person who displays or demands of others pointlessly precise conformity, fussiness about trivialities, or exaggerated propriety, especially in a self-righteous or irritating manner.”
I’m not sure what happened to the word, especially when one considers how commonplace prigs are. Continue reading
The quote has been attributed to famous figures such as Mark Twain and Eleanor Roosevelt. The earliest appearance seems to be in a syndicated newspaper column of Walter Winchell in January, 1937. He credits it to a jokesmith named Olin Miller. “You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do!”
I imagine there are some people—one thinks of celebrities and politicians—who find that nugget of wisdom crushing. But the rest of us should find it liberating. How much time, effort, and sleep is lost needlessly worrying about what people think about us? But then again, one wonders how much time, effort, and sleep might be lost by the realization that no one may be thinking of us! Continue reading
Anyone who makes their living by speaking has learned that being misunderstood is a double-edged sword. There have been occasions when I have been accused of saying things that I not only did not say, but I condemn the very opinion I’m accused of advocating. Makes one think of the accusation against Jesus, “But some of them said, ‘He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons’” (Luke 11:15).
On the other hand, people have “quoted” me as eloquently explaining matters so lofty I didn’t even understand what they had me saying! Reminds one of the famous quote by Alan Greenspan, “I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” Continue reading
Occasionally options feel like anything but freedom. Listening to the salesman go on about options A, B, C, or standing in the aisle staring at all those labels and promises is enough to make you want to run away.
But at other times options are great. Having to do something because you want to instead of because you have to is a great feeling. The freedom of choice is a sensation similar to, well, to freedom.
Options are nice. But not always possible. Continue reading
Among the characters making the journey from Hell to Heaven in C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce, is a man referred to as “the Big Man,” or “the Big Ghost.” A reoccurring phrase from this character is “I’m not arguing. I’m just telling you the sort of chap I was” and “I only want my rights.”
His argument is common. Hardly a day goes by that one doesn’t hear it one way or another. “I don’t want to argue about it, but . . .” Beginning any statement this way is supposed to prevent any sort of a response. As for “I only want my rights,” what could be more reasonable? Continue reading
C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce is a mix of fable and allegory. The main character, in a dream, boards a bus and embarks on a voyage through Heaven and Hell. The characters he meets causes him to realize the ultimate consequence of everyday behavior.
About halfway through the book, the main character; guided by a citizen of Heaven, the Scottish author George MacDonald, is told the story of a Sir Archibald. It seems that Archibald was obsessed with one topic in his lifetime, survival. When he got to Heaven he realized there was no need for survival, but instead of being relieved and having a good laugh at himself, he walked away.
The response of the main character to this story is, “How fantastic!” To which MacDonald responds, Continue reading