Tuesday, July 27, 2010

First and Second Things

I came across this C. S. Lewis quote today and found it quintessentially Lewis in its fresh insightfulness.
The woman who makes a dog the centre of her life loses, in the end, not only her human usefulness and dignity but even the proper pleasure of dog-keeping. The man who makes alcohol his chief good loses not only his job but his palate and all power of enjoying the earlier (and only pleasurable) levels of intoxication. It is a glorious thing to feel for a moment or two that the whole meaning of the universe is summed up in one woman--glorious so long as other duties and pleasures keep tearing you away from her. But clear the decks and so arrange your life (it sometimes feasible) that you will have nothing to do but contemplate her, and what happens? Of course this law has been discovered before, but it will stand re-discovery. It may be stated as follows: every preference of a small good to a great, or partial good to a total good, involves the loss of the small or partial good for which the sacrifice is made (Readings for Meditation and Reflection, pgs. 14-15).

I especially find the line about the "earlier levels" of intoxication amusing and his analogies so apt.


Stephen said...

probably where Tim Keller borrowed his, "idolatry is when you take good thing and turn it into an ultimate thing."

John Thomson said...

Yes. A good quote. It is so true. Just now I am going through another bout of depression. It does not seem to be circumstances related (in my case rarely is). Moreover, by God's grace it is not too deep. But in a situation which robs you of much in life and gives a little insight into what many suffering believers must face I find it is only the joy of the Lord that sustains me.

I know deeper depression can attack this however, I thank him too for medication that seems to hold the worst at bay.

As people get older and have little perhaps in life to inspire I wonder that they can live without Christ.