C. S. Lewis was famous for his spiritual allegories which he wrote for children. So much so, that as children read the books, they would write letters to him about the world of Narnia he had created. Some of his answers, gathered in his Letters to Children contain great and encouraging words. His encouragement about writing is simple yet very insightful.
"The moon is a stone; but it is a highly numinous stone. Or, to be more precise, it is a stone about which and because of which men and women have numinous feelings. Thus, there is a soft moonlight that can give us the peace that passes understanding. There is a moonlight that inspires a kind of awe. There is a cold and austere moonlight that tells the soul of its loneliness and desperate isolation, its insignificance or its uncleanness. There is an amorous moonlight prompting to love — to love not only for an individual but sometimes even for the whole universe."
(from the book Music At Night and other essays)
nu·mi·nous /ˈn(y)o͞omənəs/ adjective
; having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity.
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Just over 10 years ago, I was taking a break and read a few headlines from an internet news provider. One story described how archeologists had found a mummified panda in someone's tomb. The person being interviewed described the find and then commented that they felt the panda would be used for food in the afterlife.
I remember sitting back in my chair and thinking, "What if...?" What if the panda was not food? What if the panda was actually a pet?
Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.
But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.
Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.
Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.
- Christina Rosetti
I read Stephen Covey's book back in the late 90's. It's one of those books that has stayed with me long after reading it and to which I find myself constantly reviewing and reminding myself of its lessons. Recently I stumbled over a video that summarizes the contents of Covey's book. It was a good refresher. It's more of a visual book report, but it's still good.
My first exposure to C. S. Lewis was through his classic science fiction tale, Out of the Silent Planet. I read it my sophomore year at Washington Bible College when my dormitory room was on the northeast side of the building facing some pine trees and the road which rounded down the hill from the main entrance of the college. I still remember those hours when I would sit back in the desk chair and rest my feet on the desk and read Lewis' story about a man from Earth ("the silent planet") to the planet Malacandria. The book is rich in description and the experience of reading it has stayed with me for many years.
And he is the author of the Narnia books as well as many other books on theological ideas. I loved reading him.
As I wandered around the internet I found an old interview he gave to the BBC that is related to his book "Mere Christianity". It features Lewis' gift of being able to explain theological concepts using everyday examples. I especially love his explanation of the eternal nature of God to our finite existence: "... [God] has infinity in which to listen to the split second of prayer..."
Read, every day, something no one else is reading.
Think, every day, something no one else is thinking.
Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do.
It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.
"We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox."
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.
It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451