Daily Riches: Shove Back the High Anxiety (C. S. Lewis and Edna St. Vincent Milay)

“The the real problem of 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 life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.” C. S. Lewis

“The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That can not keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat — the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.”
Edna St. Vincent Milay

“As for me, I call to God,
and Yahweh saves me.
Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
Psalm 55:16-17

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Is it a “real problem” not to start each day by shoving back “all your wishes and hopes for the day?” Has your conviction led to a regular practice?
  • If you “hit the ground running” in the morning, do you have another way of ensuring that you let “that other, larger, stronger life come flowing in?” that you hear “that other voice?” What is it?
  • Lewis says we need to “stand back” from all our natural “fussings and frettings” – we need to “come in out of the wind” – and he means “all day.” Fixed-time prayer through the day is helpful in this regard, since it can involve “shoving back” the anxiety repeatedly as the day unfolds. It’s a constant battle to prevent the world from “pinching your heart.” (Milay) If you’re not praying at fixed times each day, why not try it for a week? Give God an opening and see what He does.

Abba, give me a soul that can withstand the pressures of the world.


For More: Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”


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