Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Living in the Hallway for Now

I love how writers like C.S. Lewis can say something profound succinctly. How something that has been on your mind for some time, they can express so clearly that it all makes sense finally. That is what this quote from Lewis book "Mere Christianity" did for me as I read it this morning.

"I hope no reader will suppose that "mere" Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creed of the existing communions---as if a man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism or Greek Orthodoxy or anything else. It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in. For that purpose the worst of the rooms (whichever that may be) is, I think, preferable. It is true that some people may find they have to wait in the hall for a considerable time, while others feel certain almost at once which door they must knock at. I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do get into your room you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep on praying for light: and, of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and panelling. In plain language, the question should never be: "Do I like that kind of service?" but "Are these doctrines true: Is holiness here? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particular door-keeper?"
When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then your are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house."

---posted by Queen Lucy


Jan said...

I like that. I shared it with a friend that is feeling much the same way. :-)

Monica said...

This is one of my favorites from C.S. Lewis.