Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Learning in Wartime

In C.S. Lewis' essay, "Learning in Wartime", he discusses the importance of our attitudes and actions. He begins by stating that we often get lost in the idea that life is "normal". He says, "We are mistaken when we compare war with 'normal life'. Life has never been normal." Since we live abnormal lives, we must be a part of both physical and spiritual wars against evil. Lewis describes our role in war as "a religious duty, and our obligation to perform every duty is therefore absolute." Despite this duty, Lewis states that "a man may have to die for our country: but no man must, in any exclusive sense, live for his country." We must surrender ourselves to God and live according to His will.

Lewis discusses how we have enemies against learning. The first is excitement, and occurs when we feel like a new passion has risen, when we should still be focusing on obtaining knowledge. If you want to be successful, you must be willing to strive for knowledge, even when conditions are unfavorable. The second enemy is frustration, and occurs when we feel like we will not be able to finish what we long to do. However, we are called to live each day to the fullest and not worry about tomorrow, for today has enough worries of its own. The last enemy is fear of death. However, we must not forget that in death, we become perfect and live in paradise with our creator.

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