Down busy self, and proud impatience

“He chose our inheritance for us” — Psalm 47:4

Believer, if your inheritance be a lowly one you should be satisfied with your earthly portion; for you may rest assured that it is the fittest for you. Unerring wisdom ordained your lot, and selected for you the safest and best condition…

…Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there. You are placed by God in the most suitable circumstances, and if you had the choosing of your lot, you would soon cry, “Lord, choose my inheritance for me, for by my self-will I am pierced through with many sorrows.” Be content with such things as you have, since the Lord has ordered all things for your good. Take up your own daily cross; it is the burden best suited for your shoulder, and will prove most effective to make you perfect in every good word and work to the glory of God. Down busy self, and proud impatience, it is not for you to choose, but for the Lord of Love!

“Trials must and will befall—
But with humble faith to see
Love inscribed upon them all;
This is happiness to me.”

-Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

That Hideous Strength

Today I finished reading the third installment of C.S. Lewis’ space trilogy, That Hideous Strength. I have to admit, most of this book was quite dense (Perelandra, the second book, is my favorite). But the last little bit of this one was quite riveting, in normal epic final battle C.S. Lewis fashion! I heartily recommend the whole series! Here are two favorite excerpts from the book:

After meeting the Director, going back on a train:

“Whatever she tried to think of led back to the Director himself and, in him, to joy. She saw from the windows of the train the outlined beams of sunlight pouring over stubble or burnished woods and felt that they were like the notes of a trumpet. Her eyes rested on the rabbits and cows as they flitted by and she embraced them in heart with merry, holiday love. She delighted in the occasional speech of the one wizened old man who shared her compartment and saw, as never before, the beauty of his shrewd and sunny old mind, sweet as a nut and English as a chalk down. She reflected with surprise how long it was since music had played any part of her life, and resolved to listen to many chorales by Bach on the gramophone that evening. Or else–perhaps–she would read a great many Shakespeare sonnets. She rejoiced also in her hunger and thirst and decided that she would make herself buttered toast for tea–a great deal of buttered toast. And she rejoiced also in the consciousness of her own beauty; for she had the sensation–it may have been false in fact, but it had nothing to do with vanity–that it was growing and expanding like a magic flower with every minute that passed….Certainly she was looking well: she was looking unusually well. And, once more, there was little vanity in this. For beauty was made for others. Her beauty belonged to the Director. It belonged to him so completely that he could even decide not to keep it for himself but to order that it be given to another, by an act of obedience lower, and therefore higher, more unconditional and therefore more delighting, than if he had demanded it for himself.”

———

“Do you place yourself in the obedience, ” said the Director, “in obedience to Maledil?” “Sir,” said Jane, “I know nothing of Maledil. But I place myself in obedience to you.” “It is enough for the present,” said the Director. “This is the courtesy of Deep Heaven: that when you mean well, He always takes you to have meant better than you knew. It will not be enough for always. He is very jealous. He will have you for no one but Himself in the end. But for tonight, it is enough.”