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The Good Fight

One of my favorite daily readings books is A Year with C.S. Lewis. The selection for today opens with following:

The real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.
A Year with C.S. Lewis, Daily Readings from His Classic Works, HarperSanFrancisco, 2003

And those winds of distraction are blowing fiercely these days. As Christians, we are surrounded by enemies, seen and unseen. Everywhere we look, there are forces of change and disruption arrayed against us: political, historical, social and medical. And to top it all off, we can’t even gather in church to get refreshed, renewed and strengthened in our faith. That puts the burden squarely on us to “fight the good fight with all thy might,” as the old hymn says (drawing from 1 Timothy 6:12). That hymn also reminds us to:

Run the straight race through God’s good grace,
lift up thine eyes and seek his face;
life with its way before us lies,
Christ is the path and Christ the prize.

The last verse speaks clearly to our struggle against all the “changes and chances of this mortal life:

Faint not nor fear, his arms are near;
he changeth not, and thou art dear;
only believe, and thou shalt see
that Christ is all in all to thee.
John Samuel Bewley Monsell, The Episcopal Hymnal 1982, #552

After his conversion, C. S. Lewis would get up each morning, look in the mirror and say to himself, “You are a baptized child of God; now go live like it!” That is still good advice for us today.

FROM WIKIPEDIA: Fight the Good Fight is a traditional, classic favorite  hymn  and  Christian song . It was written by Rev.  John Samuel Bewley Monsell  and published in  Hymns of Love and Praise for the Church’s Year  (1863). It is sung to the tune  Pentecost , written in 1864 by William Boyd. The hymn is based on the  King James Bible 's version of Paul's  First Epistle to Timothy , Chapter 6, verse 12.
The Rev. John R. Bentley, Jr.
Pastoral Associate