Chapter 10 of Charles Ryrie’s book Balancing The Christian Life is entitled “Routine Faithfulness.”1 Those two words belong together. Conferences, retreats, concerts, and workshops make faithfulness easy. When away attending a special event you don’t have to think about the bills needing to be paid, the car needing to be fixed, the relationships that needs mending, and the problems you need to confront.
Holidays are similar. Special days are, well, special. They are unique, unusual. No homework or going to work. But then comes Monday when the routine returns.
Jan Struther, author of Mrs. Miniver, once remarked how relieved she was when the holidays were over. She so enjoyed her “everyday life” that she was afraid a holiday would make it difficult for her to get that life back.
In a letter to his good friend Dom Bede Griffiths (April 16, 1940), C. S. Lewis shares a comment he made to a classroom of Christian undergraduates. He told them:
“A man who is eating or lying with his wife while preparing to go to sleep, in humility, thankfulness, and temperance, is, by Christian standards, in an infinitely higher state than one who is listening to Bach or reading Plato in the state of pride.”2
I don’t know about anyone else but I find that remark incredibly encouraging.
“Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.” – Ecclesiastes 5:18.
1. Charles Ryrie, Balancing The Christian Life (Chicago: Moody Press, 1969), 102.
2. Walter Hooper, ed., The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis: Books, Broadcasts, and the War 1931-1949, Vol. II (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2004), 391.