It’s C.S. Lewis time again. I am loving getting back to this journal that lay dormant in my blank journal bin for far too long. And today’s quote comes from a letter I’ve not read before. I hope you like it.
I know all about the despair of overcoming chronic temptations. It is not serious, provided self-offended petulance, annoyance at breaking records, impatience etc. don’t get the upper hand. No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be v. muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us; it is the v. sign of His presence. . . .—from a letter to Mary Neylen, 20 January 1942
None of us is perfect. None but Jesus is able to resist every temptation. The most frustrating thing is to give in yet again to a temptation we have once resisted and thought we had truly overcome.
For me, of late, it is food—specifically sweets—when I am not at all hungry or in need of nourishment. I had mastered that temptation last year, even lost 30 pounds. Then the holiday season and the darkness of winter came and old habits returned. Pounds began to as well.
January 4, the first Monday of the year, I’d get back to my new-and-improved habits. But January 7 came and those habits went.
February 1 became my new goal, but again I failed to reinstate the better habits.
But if Lewis is right—and I believe he is—all hope is not lost unless I choose to give up completely and decide that all attempts to resist the temptation to soothe my weary soul with food rather than Jesus are futile.
They are not futile. I may have to fall and get back up a million times before I go to my heavenly home, but I will—with God’s help—keep getting up.
With all else that tempts me I will do the same. Fall. Get up. Repeat.
Heavenly Father, Help us to always seek You when we are tempted. And when we fail nonetheless to resist some temptation, pick us back up in Your mercy. Amen.