A Blog dedicated to exploring the wisdom found in the timeless writings of C.S. Lewis
Monday, May 30, 2011
IT WAS WHEN I WAS HAPPIEST THAT I LONGED THE MOST...
"It was when I was happiest that I longed most...The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing...to find the place where all the beauty came from."
What could C.S. Lewis mean by the above quote? I think it is simply this. When Lewis was an atheist, he was unhappy, but did not long for heaven or truly understand his deep desire to have an intimate relationship with his Creator. Once Lewis became a Christian, he began to understand the ability and desire to have a relationship with the ultimate source of all beauty. He also began to long for heaven.
This sense of longing is important. As Christians, our citizenship is elsewhere. We are aliens here, and our values are at odds with the values of the world. Although having a relationship with Christ brings us happiness right now ("It was when I was happiest I longed most"), that happiness is tempered by the realization that we will never be completely at peace until we see our Savior.
This sense of future fulfillment is also important to help us through times of difficulty. When we are going through hard times, our vision tends to shrink and to focus on our current circumstances. We will gain strength to endure as we remember the end prize. Faith allows us to take our eyes off of our current circumstances and know that, despite the hard times now, the end will be glorious.
I think C.S. Lewis is echoing Paul's words in Philippians:
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Philippians 1:21-24.