The more I read by C. S. Lewis, the more I wonder what it was like to be around this man. He has a clarity of thought and logic that is truly remarkable. The more I read this book, the more I saw my own failings and struggles in the pages. We all struggle with temptation, but the more we realize the strategies used by Satan, the less likely we will be to fall prey to them, which is why I liked reading this book. I’ve even thought about going through the book again, chapter by chapter, and create a “cheat sheet” of the temptations and attacks used in each chapter. Then I would schedule time to review them on a regular basis. It might keep me from falling for his strategies more often than I do. But the more I can stay connected to God through prayer, the less I would need that cheat sheet anyway.

One of the sections that really hit home for me is related to prayer, or I guess what we should call, relationship with God. Screwtape is talking about how to keep our relationship with God derailed:

As this condition becomes more fully established, you will be gradually freed from the tiresome business of providing Pleasures as temptations. As the uneasiness and his reluctance to face it cut him off more and more from all real happiness, and as habit renders the pleasures of vanity and excitement and flippancy at once less pleasant and harder to forgo (for this is what habit fortunately does to a pleasure) you will find that anything or nothing is sufficient to attract his wandering attention” (Lewis, 1942, p. 59).

This is where I continually find myself…engaging in reading, surfing, worrying, or a hundred other things, rather than talking with God. It’s a continual struggle to me. I’ve tried to examine why I think I resist talking to God more than I do, but the core cause is still elusive. It shouldn’t be this hard. Deep down, I have a sneaking suspicion though it’s my attempts to still hang onto control over my life.

— Lewis, C. S. (1942). The Screwtape Letters. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

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