Plodding Versus Soaring


No contest, right? Everyone prefers that soaring feeling, the rush of embarking on something new, success in the wind. C.S. Lewis, as usual, helps to give perspective to that amazing sensation of newness:

I think the thrill of the Pagan stories and of romance may be due to the fact that they are mere beginnings—the first, faint whisper of the wind from beyond the world—while Christianity is the thing itself: and no thing, when you have really started on it, can have for you then and there just the same thrill as the first hint. For example, the experience of being married and bringing up a family cannot have the old bittersweet of first falling in love. But it is futile (and, I think, wicked) to go on trying to get the old thrill again: you must go forward and not backward. Any real advance will in its turn be ushered in by a new thrill, different from the old: doomed in its turn to disappear and to become in its turn a temptation to retrogression. Delight is a bell that rings as you set your foot on the first step of a new flight of stairs leading upwards. Once you have started climbing you will notice only the hard work: it is when you have reached the landing and catch sight of the new stair that you may expect the bell again. This is only an idea, and may be all rot: but it seems to fit in pretty well with the general law (thrills also must die to live) of autumn & spring, sleep and waking, death and resurrection, and “Whosoever loseth his life, shall save it.

How many marriages fail because one or both spouses become disillusioned with the day-to-dayness of married life? How many careers fail because the man or woman discovers it’s more work, than glory? How many “Christians” revert to their old ways when they realize the mountaintops are rare, and the work of reaching them becomes daunting?

Apostle Paul speaks of faith’s struggles:

Romans 5: 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

2 Peter 1: 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

The faithful rejoice in life’s plodding, and gratefully accept any soaring as a short-term perk. Even eagles have to light once in a while.

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