Saturday, November 2, 2013

Rivals to Our Work

This month marks the 50th anniversary of C.S. Lewis' death, so for my daily devotional readings, I've been using A Year with C.S. Lewis (HarperCollins: 2003). The reading for October 22 came from Lewis's essay on "Learning in Wartime," which he addressed to university professors and scholars. But I feel it's a timely message for us writers as well:
There are always plenty of rivals to our work. We are always falling in love or quarrelling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come...
I see myself in every line of that, don't you? I want to write, feel called of God to write, and have been granted experiences and insights worth writing about. Yet too often I allow the clamor of daily living to drive writing to the margin. I let the rivals take over.

Joanna Davis writes, "I have been brought face to face with the demands of discipleship: total love for Jesus Christ above all else. He doesn't merely want my service; He wants my whole heart...As I have come to Him, acknowledging my absolute dependence on Him, and His sovereign right to rule the throne of my heart, He has always conquered every rival love that had a stronghold in my life."

O Lord, keep my mind and heart focused on the work You have given me to do. Let me not yield to the temptation to allow good things to crowd the best things from my daily agenda, especially when Your work is difficult and demanding. It is Your work indeed, and I yearn more than anything else to be Your faithful servant. Amen.


Joe Allison and his wife, Judy, live in Anderson IN, where Joe serves as Coordinator of Publishing for Church of God Ministries, Inc. Joe has several nonfiction books in print, including Swords and Whetstones: A Guide to Christian Bible Study Resources. He's currently writing a trilogy of Christian historical novels set in the Great Depression.

Visit Joe's blog at

1 comment:

  1. Great focus, Joe, and quote from CSL! And so special that you ended with a prayer. . . I hadn't tho't about doing that here, and plan to do so more -- sure ties in with Bob Hostetler's marvelous presentation yesterday (Read, Pray, Write)! Hey, fun to chat with you a bit yesterday over our delicious liver and onions. . . :-)