Quote of the Week – may be only fidgets


I haven’t kept up with my plan for a weekly quote, but it’s a practice worth reviving, especially for those ever-more-frequent periods when I have nothing to say. Today, from C.S. Lewis:

“Don’t be too easily convinced that God really wants you to do all sorts of work you needn’t do. Each must do his duty ‘in that state of life to which God has called him.’ Remember that a belief in the virtues of doing for doing’s sake is characteristically feminine, characteristically American, and characteristically modern: so that three veils may divide you from the correct view! There can be intemperance in work just as in drink. What feels like zeal may be only fidgets or even the flattering of one’s self-importance. As MacDonald says, ‘In holy things may be unholy greed!’ And by doing what ‘one’s station and its duties’ does not demand, one can make oneself less fit for the duties it does demand and so commit some injustice. Just you give Mary a chance as well as Martha!”

C.S. Lewis, Letters to An American Lady

7 thoughts on “Quote of the Week – may be only fidgets

  1. What an interesting quote! Esp. his observation that this is a vice particular to modern American women. Hmm. I agree with him. I'm prone to this, but am trying to get away from the vice these days, as I'm not working full time. I also think we go throw seasons of lots-of-work in life, and then seasons of less-work. It's hard to be content in the less-work times. I think this is what I've needed to focus on. Thanks so much!

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  2. Oh, I like it! He was so wise. Just the other day, a friend said that she can't imagine herself not doing something after she retires. I just don't get it. What's SOMETHING? We over value busyness.

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  3. Love C. S. Lewis! A friend and I were having a conversation about this very thing recently — how to find balance in that American drive to constantly be productive and living more slowly — less frantically.

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