Thursday, May 5, 2011

Let The Thrill Die

"The sort of thrill a boy has at the first idea of flying will not go on when he has joined the R.A.F. and is really learning to fly.  The thrill you feel on first seeing some delightful place dies away when you really go to live there.  Does this mean it would be better not to learn to fly and not to live in the beautiful place? By no means.  In both cases, if you go through with it, the dying away of the first thrill will be compensated for by a quieter and more lasting kind of interest.  What is more (and I can hardly find words to tell you how important I think this), it is just the people who are ready to submit to the loss of the thrill and settle down to the sober interest, who are then most likely to meet new thrills in some quite different direction.  The man who has learned to fly and become a good pilot will suddenly discover music; the man who has settled down to live in the beauty spot will discover gardening.

That is, I think, one little part of what Christ meant by saying that a thing will not really live unless it first dies.  It is simply no good trying to keep any thrill: that is the very worst thing you can do.  Let the thrill go - let it die away - go on through that period of death into the quieter interest and happiness that follow - and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills all the time.  But if you decide to make thrills your regular diet and try to prolong them artificially, they will all get weaker and weaker, and fewer and fewer, and you will be a bored, disillusioned old man for the rest of your life.  It is because so few people understand this that you may find many middle-aged men and women maundering about their lost youth, at the very age when new horizons ought to be appearing and new doors opening all round them.  It is much better fun to learn to swim than to go on endlessly (and hopelessly) trying to get back the feeling you had when you first went paddling as a small boy."
- Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis

I feel like I live in fear of thrills.  I always want to be in a place where everything feels comfortable and familiar.  I don't like change; I never have.  At this tumultuous time of life I'm yearning for my mother's lap and her sweet voice softly singing "You Are My Sunshine."

That doesn't mean, however, that these words of C.S. Lewis don't apply to me.  Actually, they gave me a sucker punch straight to the gut.  I am that woman "maundering about [my] lost youth" when new opportunities are around every corner.  Instead of allowing these new thrills into my life and molding them into my daily routine I'm running away.  Mr. Lewis's words, though, helped me realize that this longing for the past will never let me grow.

As much as I want to try "to get back the feeling [I] had when [I] first went paddling," it's time to take the next step and move on.  For me personally, the thrill is scary, but one day the thrill will die.  So, whether you live in search of the thrill or, like me, run from it, I encourage you to take heed of Lewis's words.  Holding onto something may prevent you from discovering  your "gardening."

Love, Alli 

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