A few days ago I bought the book, The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis. I read most of it last night and finished it. I couldn't put it down. I don't know how he came up with the images he wrote about in general. Not just this book, but his science fiction series. The man was extremely creative.
What struck me about the book, which I'm assuming would strike anyone since it's what the book is about, are the various things that keep us from desiring God and real joy. It's amazing thinking about the things that we struggle to hold on to. He was making the point that we have to divorce ourselves from the world and all worldly desires COMPLETELY. It reminds me of Jim Elliot's quote, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." I'd recommend reading it. The book is very helpful.
It seems for a bit that Lewis believes in Purgatory but if you read further he seems to go away from that idea. In the preface to the book he says that he is in no way suggesting that what he writes describes what Heaven and Hell will truly be like. It's a man's dream.
Now usually I don't like to get too too personal on my blog. But I feel like the following might be a bit helpful to some people. (Not that most reading this haven't probably thought of this before.) C.S. Lewis brought up many things that we see as the ends in life instead of the means to what our true end should be. Things that may not be considered sinful things or sinful desires are sinful if they are the "end" to you. Our true end is Christ. "To live is Christ."
One of the things I desire most for my own future on earth is to be married and have a family. I have never been a huge career person. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I love Kindergarten, but I could still give it up tomorrow. Now this is not a bad desire in itself, but if I start viewing it as the end, the goal in life, it will be to my detriment. It will kill my affections for Christ. Marriage can be a wonderful means to our true end. Giving glory to God. Most Christians that I talk to that are married say it's one of the most sanctifying relationships on earth. I believe that a man and woman should only get married if they know that together they can help each other to love and serve God better than being apart. It just scared me to think that I could want anything else more than Christ. Something temporal, nonetheless. Anyway, just something I've been thinking about.