For those of you who look forward to my C.S. Lewis musings, my apologies for skipping last week. I was swamped with work related to my position as the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest Coordinator. But I’m back to it now and today I’m looking at a quote from one of Lewis’s letters.
Remember that there are only three kinds of things anyone need ever do. (1) Things we ought to do. (2) Things we’ve got to do. (3) Things we like doing. I say this because some people seem to spend so much of their time doing things for none of these reasons, things like reading books they don’t like because other people read them. Things you ought to do are things like doing one’s work in school, or being nice to other people. Things one has got to do are things like dressing and undressing, or household shopping. Things one likes doing—but of course I don’t know what you like. Perhaps you’ll write and tell me one day.—from a letter to Sarah (a goddaughter), 3 April 1949
This past week I’ve spent a great many hours doing what I ought to do. I took a week of vacation from work, but spent precious little time doing things I like to do. And at the moment I’m not sure which category writing this journal entry falls into.
I do like to write, but I’m writing this because I feel like I ought to post a new C.S. Lewis quote and thought on my blog. I missed my Tuesday post last week because my hours were consumed with coordinating a writing contest.
When I’m done with this journaling, perhaps I’ll read or go for a walk or turn up the music and dance. I truly like to do all those things.
It seems to me, though, that Lewis has attempted a neat tri-part categorizing of tasks and activities when so many things refuse to fit neatly in but one. Take writing, for example. For me it fits in all three of Lewis’s categories, at one time or another. It is even, on occasion, one of those things I must do or go mad.
Heavenly Father, Help us to balance the things we ought and the things we like to do. Give us strength to not grow weary doing what we ought and wisdom to not overindulge in the things we like. Amen