Moving on, to the next

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times.
But that is not for them to decide.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

(the mounded rocks to help break the storm waves at The Breakers Hotel /
Palm Beach, FL / Julie Cook / 2017)

“It was too perfect to last,’
so I am tempted to say of our marriage.
But it can be meant in two ways.
It may be grimly pessimistic—
as if God no sooner saw two of His creatures happy than He stopped it
(‘None of that here!’).
As if He were like the Hostess at the sherry-party who separates two guests
the moment they show signs of having got into a real conversation.

But it could also mean ‘This had reached its proper perfection.
This had become what it had in it to be.
Therefore of course it would not be prolonged.
‘As if God said,
‘Good; you have mastered that exercise.
I am very pleased with it.
And now you are ready to go on to the next.”

― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

In that place of sheer isolation and utter vulnerability,
deep within the quagmire of mourning and sorrow of which we find ourselves
sinking helplessly into the quicksand of our losses and suffering…
we humans are fast and keen to denounce the omnipotent God..
we proclaim Him to be most cruel, sadistic and menacingly cold hearted.

For we are hurting for heaven’s sake….
can He, does He, not see…
does He not know…
or worse….
does He simply not care…??

As C.S Lewis reflects on the loss of his wife—
he, in such typical Lewis fashion, expresses the thoughts and feelings that
are our own…
that of our angst and misery culminating from the overwhelming painful experience
we all eventually experience from our living, death and loss…

As he sums it up nicely in one wonderful notion…

“Good; you have mastered that exercise.
I am very pleased with it.
And now you are ready to go on to the next.”

And so we are…ready to go on
on to the next….
to the next whatever…
the next whatever God has in store…
all the while nursing our wounded hearts,
we move on, by His Grace, to that which comes next…

(for a wonderful movie about Lewis, his marriage, the death of his wife due to cancer and how Lewis wrestles with God…see the 1993 movie Shadowlands staring Anthony Hopkins and Deborah Winger—a marvelous and timeless movie)

27 comments on “Moving on, to the next

  1. @vapor_sage says:

    From my perspective, one must be blessed by God’s grace, with enough humility, to find that One desperately needs God. I will search out that movie, it looks lovely, and watch it. Thank you, Cookie!

  2. Lynda says:

    May you be given enough grace by our loving God to see you through this difficult time with joy and peace in your heart. You are blessed with wonderful memories of your times with Aunt Martha. Blessings and peace and joy today. Lots of prayers!

    • Thanks Lynda—we just got home a bit ago—a long long haul going down friday and coming back monday—10 hrs both ways—in relentless traffic….
      and it was definitely a tough sad ordeal—as is coming home and unpacking a few tokens and treasures….

  3. says:

    Prayers for you, my friend. This has been a difficult time for you. I know that you’re suffering and so does our Savior. Through His compassion you will find rest. In all the pain of loss, our hearts often feel God has deserted us, but it is then that He draws us closer to Him. Love you!

  4. Wally Fry says:

    The next whatever is the only one that really matters I suppose. We certainly can’t do that last, bad one over again. Blessings and peace, Julie.

  5. Melissa Presser, Lover of Jesus says:

    I must watch that movie

  6. Wii get that movie set to record ASAP. Thank you for sharing your life experiences.

  7. Sarah says:

    I love the movie, and I love Hopkins as Lewis. As I remember it (it’s been a while), all of the actors were marvelous in it, and the suffering is portrayed gently, not in a heavy-handed manner. The Englishness of it all is lovely, like the portrayal of the relationship between the brothers. There is one scene however (I’m sure you know which one) that I found quite shocking and hard to forget. Copious amounts of tissues were used.

    • Indeed—in my mind’s eye, Hopkins IS Lewis—no doubt about it—
      I want to see the movie again actually as it was ages ago when I did see it—but such that it certainly left its mark

  8. “This had reached its proper perfection.
    This had become what it had in it to be.
    Therefore of course it would not be prolonged.”

    How beautiful and bittersweet those words are. I dislike endings,saying goodbye, change, letting go, moving on….does God have a complaint department? I have several complaints. Just kidding.

    But really the amount of pain we feel is comparable to the amount of love and joy we once felt, the amount of worth and value we put on those experiences. He collects our tears in a bottle and perhaps that is our way of saying thank you.

  9. oneta hayes says:

    I guess change has to happen in order to move us “from glory to glory” as we become more like Christ, or, at least, as we are given the opportunity to become more like him. Regretfully we do not all attain the perfection in certain “glories” to be allowed to move to the next “glory.” And hardly any of us recognize the beginning of a new “glory” as being glorious. That was a mouthful; I hope it made sense.

  10. Mourn we must and move on we must and shall!!! 🙂 ❤

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