It is a phrase I find myself repeating often, especially during the challenging times we face today: Perspective is everything!
Be it the breakdown of society or the looming threat of the corona virus, it would be easy to give way to fear. That is why I was grateful to see this excerpt from an essay written by C.S. Lewis posted on Facebook. While Lewis wrote about living in an atomic age, his perspective can be applied by Christians equally well to how we reflect Christ in our lives during challenging times such as these. To be run by fear rather than to live daily in faith, is to be dominated by uncertainty. I offer this in the hope that Lewis’s wisdom will encourage you as it did me:
“In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us are going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anaesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”*
“Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for
and the certainty of what we do not see.”
“I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:18
All to His Glory!
*”On Living in an Atomic Age” by C. S. Lewis from the book, Present Concerns (pages 73-80).