Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Feelings, and feelings, and feelings. Let me try thinking instead.

The title of this blog comes from the one and only C.S. Lewis.  I think part of the reason I appreciate his writing so much is that he is so logical.  Logic, unfortunately, is one of my weaknesses.  Just ask Sam.  I'm led far too easily by my feelings, so I love this quote, and use it to remind myself often that I ought to use my brain.

One of my English professors asked which writers I enjoyed reading outside of school.  Embarrassingly, I could only come up with one name.  C.S. Lewis.  This is not embarrassing in itself, since my opinion is that Lewis is one of the greatest writers ever, but for an English major to admit to her professor that she has such a limited reading repertoire is rather difficult.

I just really, really enjoy reading his work.  I have to read it slowly, and sometimes over and over (ever read Miracles, anyone?  Mind-stretching, it is!), but it is always worth it.  I'm currently reading A Grief Observed, which I highly recommend to anyone experiencing grief of any kind.  This book is a glimpse of Lewis' thoughts and his grieving process when his wife Joy died.  My favorite thing about it is that I'm reading a copy I inherited from my grandfather, who was also a big Lewis fan.  I can appreciate the passages he underlined, and love that I feel somehow more connected to him in knowing which sections he found particularly important.  My grandpa was also incredibly in love with my grandma, in the same way C.S. radically adored Joy, so I imagine this text was very healing for him to read when my grandma passed away. 

Here's an excerpt in which Lewis addresses the concept of hard times being "sent to try us":

"But of course one must take 'sent to try us' the right way.  God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality.  He knew it already.  It was I who didn't.  In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once.  He always knew that my temple was a house of cards.  His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down."

Brilliant!  Seriously people, it's worth reading.

Throughout this book, Lewis displays his typical style of offering insights while admitting he still has many questions.  I think that's why I appreciate his writing so much.  He isn't afraid to ask questions, to admit when he doesn't know the answer.  To be sure, he's incredibly clever and has fascinating observations, and I also appreciate those.  But it is the questions, the moments when he admits that he's just as unsure and confused as I am, that I find the most helpful.  (Well, he's probably not nearly as confused as I am, but still...)

That's part of why I blog.  I don't know much, and I have so much to learn.  But maybe if I journal my bumbling thoughts along, someone will be encouraged in the same way I am encouraged by Lewis.  No, I am not under any disillusion that I have his talent or skill, nor do I plan on being as influential as he was.  But if I'm honest and real, then maybe someone along the way will benefit from that. 

I don't know any crafts, I can't help you with any great ideas for your organic garden, and I am pretty clueless when it comes to cooking.  I really wish I had those gifts, but I just don't.  There are plenty of blogs out there for those purposes, and I definitely refer to them when I need to!  At times I have been tempted to focus blogging more on these ideas simply to appeal to more people, but then I realize I wouldn't be using the actual gifts God blessed me with.  I would be quite the phony, which is not something I hope to be.  So here I sit, offering my words in the hopes that at some point something I write can be of use to someone. 

If not, at least maybe you'll smile at the cute pictures of Morty and Willow.

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