Real Life

The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day; what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s imagination.

C. S. Lewis, quoted in Tim Challies, Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity (Minneapolis: Cruciform, 2015) 94.

I’ve read several biographies of Lewis over the years and all of them discuss his relationship with Mrs. Moore, the mother of a university friend whom Lewis may or may not have been romantically involved with. She lived with him until she died and was more-or-less a terror of a woman whom he waited on hand and foot. During her last years she couldn’t really get out of bed or care for herself and yet she insisted on keeping a small yappy dog that wasn’t even house broken. As Lewis wrote some of his most profound books he often had to stop every fifteen minutes to clean up dog poo off his carpet, make Mrs. Moore a tea, or do some other infuriating and menial thing.

During hectic times when I cannot seem to find hours in the day or am deluged by the vagaries of life, I often take solace in Lewis’s example. If he can write Mere Christianity and clean up dog poo every fifteen minutes off the bedroom rug then I can keep at whatever I am trying to do and possibly even succeed.

 

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