Patricia Hofer

CS Lewis and the need for Christ’s “larger, stronger, quieter life”

CS Lewis wrote a thought in Mere Christianity that has come to frame my all of religious believing. In his chapter “Is Christianity Hard or Easy?” he wrote: “That is why the real problem in the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.”
Whenever we start mingling our natural self-reliance and self-effort with our religious believing, we either lose our faith or sink it in a selfish quagmire of pride. That’s because, as Jesus says, “The Spirit is the one who gives life and the flesh doesn’t help at all” (CEB John 6:63). Our helplessness in this whole process of faith and believing has grown to be a major source of comfort for me. So the only need for me and for you, day after day after day, is to practice intentional and deliberate relaxing back, placing every initiative in God’s hands. When we do this, the Lord’s vibrant life flows in—in just the way Lewis described. (from Living Calm, chapter 16, ©️ 2016)

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