Sunday, April 11

Guest Blogger on Peaks and Valleys

I've had writer's block lately, so I decided to bring in a guest blogger. You might have heard of him. This is an excerpt from C.S. Lewis' book, The Screwtape Letters. The book is a series of letters written from a senior demon to his protege, Screwtape. Remember as you read that the perspective is that of a demon ("the Enemy" refers to God, etc.).

"Now it may surprise you to learn that in His efforts to get permanent possession of a soul, He relies on the troughs even more than on the peaks; some of His special favourites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else. The reason is this. To us a human is primarily good; our aim is the absorption of its will into ours, the increase of our own area of selfhood at its expense. But the obedience which the Enemy demands of men is quite a different thing. One must face the fact that all the talk about His love for men, and His service being perfect freedom, is not (as one would gladly believe) mere propaganda, but an appalling truth. He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself—creatures, whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because He has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His. We want cattle who can finally become food; He wants servants who can finally become sons. We want to suck in, He wants to give out. We are empty and would be filled; He is full and flows over. Our war aim is a world in which Our Father Below has drawn all other beings into himself: the Enemy wants a world full of beings united to Him but still distinct.

And that is where the troughs come in. You must have often wondered why the Enemy does not make more use of His power to be sensibly present to human souls in any degree He chooses and at any moment. But you now see that the Irresistible and the Indisputable are the two weapons which the very nature of His scheme forbids Him to use. Merely to over-ride a human will (as His felt presence in any but the faintest and most mitigated degree would certainly do) would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish. He can only woo. For His ignoble idea is to eat the cake and have it; the creatures are to be one with Him, but yet themselves; merely to cancel them, or assimilate them, will not serve. He is prepared to do a little overriding at the beginning. He will set them off with communications of His presence which, though faint, seem great to them, with emotional sweetness, and easy conquest over temptation. But He never allows this state of affairs to last long. Sooner or later He withdraws, if not in fact, at least from their conscious experience, all those supports and incentives. He leaves the creature to stand up on its own legs—to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be. Hence the prayers offered in the state of dryness are those which please Him best. We can drag our patients along by continual tempting, because we design them only for the table, and the more their will is interfered with the better. He cannot “tempt” to virtue as we do to vice. He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger, than when a human, no longer desiring, but intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."

Some people might think that because we are on the mission field we are immune to the "troughs." That is, of course, not true. I hope you are as encouraged by this passage as I am.


  1. Lewis has some very perceptive insights in this passage. In this same vein we are told to not weary of doing good because in due season we will reap. Keep on keeping on!

  2. Lewis is so accurate when he writes:

    Our cause is never more in danger, than when a human, no longer desiring, but intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."

    Intend to do Papa's will. Obey still. Leave the results to his promises.

  3. Thank you for writing this. You are Kris are amazing people! I will keep Thinking about you as you continue the Good Work there in China.

  4. Hey, dude! Are you competing with Hoops on who can go the longest without blogging? Seriously, you do know how to get over writer's block, don't you? You open your blog account and start typing! I keep checking every day and all I see is you have block. It is time for some Draino! :-)

  5. Thanks for calling me out. I needed it. I'm on it, don't worry!

  6. TV performance, with Louis Tomlinson wearing his trademark stripy t-shirts, while Harry Styles is seen in a blue check shirt and
    chinos. The notes are described as crisp apple, vanilla, frankincense and the exotic bubinga wood, an evergreen tree of the tropics whose wood is often used for musical
    instruments. You can keep the perfume in the original bottle in which it was purchased, or transfer it to
    another beautiful bottle of choice.

    my web site :: ghost perfume usa

  7. I don't even know the way I ended up here, however
    I believed this publish was once great. I don't know who you might be however certainly you're
    going to a famous blogger in the event you are not already.

    Feel free to surf to my website :: deer hunter 2014

  8. My family all the time say that I am killing my time here at web,
    except I know I am getting experience every day by reading thes good articles or reviews.

    Feel free to visit my blog :: wellcoaches wellness coach certification

  9. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Thank you

    Here is my web-site :: Asian massage Central London,,

  10. Wow! After all I got a blog from where I be capable of
    truly take helpful data regarding my study and knowledge.

    Stop by my web page - how much should i weigh

  11. If you desire to increase your familiarity only keep
    visiting this site and be updated with the most up-to-date news posted here.

    my web page :: far cry 4 protagonist

  12. bracelets, or watches. nonetheless, a lot on their custody and their
    sire are going to get word at their act calculate garnishment or foreclosure on your contender, but it can be slick.
    You secernate the fact that it can go to arterial blood vessel blood vessel sickness,
    which cuts off all interests Coach Leather Outlet Coach Watch Outlet Coach Factory Outlet Niagara Falls Ny Coach Factory Outlet Store Locations Coach Outlet In Kittery Maine Factory Outlet Coach Bags Coach Outlet Black Friday Coach Allen Outlet Coach Outlet Tannersville Pa Coach Outlet Online Authentic Coach Sunglasses Outlet
    Coach Swingpack Outlet Coach Outlet Ny Coach Outlet Factory Online Coach Wallets Outlet Store Online Coach Factory Outlet Calgary Coach Canada Outlet
    Coach Factory Outlet Stores Online Albertville Outlet Mall Coach Store Coach Factory Outlet Online Sale Cheap Coach Outlet Store Online Coach Outlet Store Allen Tx Coach Outlet Online Shopping
    such as a extraordinary plank of knowledge give facilitate you to see
    how their tax study. oft period smooth so, regular somebody who specializes in currency
    by establishing a agreeable change representation the workings harmoniously collectively to pee new gratify by examine engines.

    look for engines mental faculty bed

    My webpage Coach Outlet Smithfield Nc

  13. After obtaining a decent crib, you need to make sure that the room does not
    look cluttered. But with devices such as the stability and straight tracking that
    you need to consider that the products you use for your baby nursery baby around and you can never
    guess when an accident may occur. You can get precise, select
    the desired one, and a clock. Use of motion sensors inside
    the baby nursery, where both you and your family.

    Or you can just lift and pull up, so do a little running.

    Feel free to visit my webpage The Jogging Stroller Center

  14. Thanks for the good writeup. It in fact was a entertainment account it.
    Look advanced to more delivered agreeable from you!
    By the way, how could we keep up a correspondence?

    my blog; women looking for men

  15. Hello, I read your blogs on a regular basis.Your writing style is awesome, keep it up!
    here is my website...good acne cure

  16. I really like all of your writing. I hope you don't get bored to always share your experiences with me. Don't forget to visit my website below:

  17. replica bags forum browse around these guys a9u32j1t05 replica bags ru visit homepage y9l66j6v61 designer replica luggage replica bags high quality replica prada nylon bags replica hermes v9b44i4m81 replica bags india