Wednesday, January 03, 2007

from the preface of "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis

It is true that some people may find they have to wait in the hall fora considerable time, while others feel certain almost at once which doorthey must knock at. I do not know why there is this difference, but I amsure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him towait. When you do get into your room you will find that the long wait hasdone you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But youmust regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep on praying forlight: and, of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey therules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be askingwhich door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint andpaneling.
In plain language, the question should never be: "Do I like that kindof service?" but "Are these doctrines true: Is holiness here? Does myconscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to knock at this door dueto my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particulardoor-keeper?"
When you have reached your own room, be kind to those Who have chosendifferent doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrongthey need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then youare under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to thewhole house.


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