One reason I devote Saturdays to commentary from C. S. Lewis is that he always seems to say something in a unique way. For instance, when writing about the necessity of dying to self, he is able to make us think about it from a different angle. In one of his essays, “A Slip of the Tongue,” he explains what it really means to die to one’s selfishness:
It is not so much of our time and so much of our attention that God demands; it is not even all our time and all our attention: it is our selves. For each of us the Baptist’s words are true: “He must increase and I decrease.” . . .
He cannot bless us unless He has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, He claims all. There’s no bargaining with Him. . . .
“If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God, it will make in the end no difference what you have chosen instead.” Those are hard words to take. Will it really make no difference whether it was women or patriotism, cocaine or art, whisky or a seat in the Cabinet, money or science? Well, surely no difference that matters. We shall have missed the end for which we are formed and rejected the only thing that satisfies. Does it matter to a man dying in the desert, by which choice of route he missed the only well?