Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"Aim at Heaven and You Will Get Earth Thrown In"

From today's GodIssues.Org article comes a great quote from one of my favorite books of all time, by the great C.S. Lewis:

"If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth 'thrown in': aim at earth and you will get neither. It seems a strange rule, but something like it can be seen at work in other matters. Health is a great blessing, but the moment you make health one of your main, direct objects you start becoming a crank and imagining there is something wrong with you. You are likely to get health provided you want other things more--food, games, work, fun, open air. In the same way, we shall never save civilisation as long as civilisation is our main object. We must learn to want something else even more." (Mere Christianity [New York: Macmillan, 1960] 118-9).

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6 Comments:

At 12:26 PM, July 18, 2007, Blogger Emma Sometimes said...

That is wonderfully stated. I just adore CS Lewis who gently reminds me not to set my sights on earthly things...and even why.

Thank you for posting this!

 
At 9:22 PM, July 18, 2007, Blogger Janie said...

Amen, Gwynne, amen!

 
At 10:36 AM, July 19, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Emma, I adore CSL also...who can resist his casual but brilliant wit and insight? A true genius!

 
At 10:37 AM, July 19, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Thanks, Janie. :-)

 
At 9:32 PM, July 19, 2007, Blogger Eric said...

Denison's sure picking the good stuff, isn't he? I sort of hate for his series to end.

 
At 3:23 PM, July 20, 2007, Anonymous The County Clerk said...

What a fantastic quote!

 

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