The thing I notice about CS Lewis’ writing is the efficiency of his words. He says so much with so few words.
These words to his dear friend MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE, who he corresponded with is a good illustration of this truth. It is also a good illustration of his ability to get at the underlying issue and say it with conviction and clarity.
I think we can all grow in understanding of our perspective of life.
17 June 1963
Pain is terrible, but surely you need not have fear as well? Can you not see death as the friend and deliverer? It means stripping off that body which is tormenting you: like taking off a hair- shirt or getting out of a dungeon. What is there to be afraid of? You have long attempted (and none of us does more) a Christian life. Your sins are confessed and absolved. Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.
Remember, though we struggle against things because we are afraid of them, it is often the other way round—we get afraid be- cause we struggle. Are you struggling, resisting? Don’t you think Our Lord says to you ‘Peace, child, peace. Relax. Let go. Underneath are the everlasting arms. Let go, I will catch you. Do you trust me so little?’
Of course, this may not be the end. Then make it a good rehearsal.
Yours (and like you a tired traveller near the journey’s end) Jack
I sat through Laurel Buckingham’s lecture, well Q&A, this morning and appreciated the reflected discussion. He’s been a very successful pastoral leader. So that was a good experience.
He shared these four keys to success:
1. Be on time.
2. Do what you say you are gong to do.
3. Finish what you start.
4. Say please and thank you.
It struck me that all these things deal with respect. Respect of people and respect for The Church – His Bride.
As a young Salvation Army officer I resigned at least 3442 times…well I didn’t actually resign but I had intentions! Low pay, hard people, little success….ahhhh! Of course all that’s in the eye of the beholder for we had all the food and shelter we needed and people are people no matter the job. And success, well that’s hard to measure in the easiest of jobs.
As for the resignation letters – I never sent any and in time I realized I could keep it in my file so I didn’t have to keep re-writing it. That saves a great deal of time you know.
Recently, at a community mapping day, the presenter put this up and I thought I should have had that on my wall starting in year one of ministry!
So here I am 32 years later and so glad I didn’t resign for the rewards have been amazing and many. Most of those rewards have come in the stories of people whose lives have been transformed – changed – souls saved – families improved and so many other ways.
God is good – and faithful – and He never writes a resignation letter!