I’m aware that the title of this article may not sit well with some readers. Please indulge me for a few moments. If by the end you wish to never read one of my articles again, then so be it. Hopefully, I will be able to take you on a journey, not like C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien can do, but a journey none the less.
This time of year is the busiest for booksellers. I don’t deny how happy I would be if you bought my books for your loved ones for Hanukkah or Christmas, but I want to focus on what C.S. Lewis was able to accomplish and why we need more C.S. Lewis’s.
Most would know Lewis from The Chronicles of Narnia. Either from the books or the movies. Last year I was fortunate enough to find a copy of a radio drama version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on CD which I’ve now enjoyed listening to multiple times. What struck me during a recent re-listening was how subtly and deeply he wove his revelation of God into the finer details of the story.
I’ve long known of books written by modern authors that have in-depth studied historic authors dissecting what they may have been writing between the lines. I’ve resisted reading these as a rule as it’s hard enough to enjoy a book or a movie as an author, without making it even harder to switch off that part of my brain and just enjoy their creativity.
I don’t as usual have the word limit to do a deep dive but how many of Lewis’s other works have you read? I could easily name a few of both his fiction and non-fiction titles but despite long being an admirer I’d struggle to name even half of his works.
The list of authors that have had success in both fiction and non-fiction realms is an even smaller list than those that are still so loved generations after their passing.
Having listened to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe so many times now and read some of his other works I have a greater appreciation for his ability to open a reader's eyes to things they might never see.
A thought by Eric Metaxas during an interview I’ve referenced previously has been gnawing away at me in the weeks since listening to it. As much as it would be good if we had more Christians in politics we need more Christian culture.
Take a moment to imagine if the last few decades we grew up in a world where the movies, TV shows, music was filled with love and hope and instilled in people that they were designed by a loving creator for a purpose, rather than we happened by accident, your truth is the truth, there is no meaning to life, and once you die that’s it.
So this year as you think of the gifts to give those you love take the opportunity to discover some treasures you may not have discovered yourself yet. Whether it’s C.S. Lewis or another author, who’s work could help you see 2021 through a more hopeful lens.
Could consuming culture from a time before mass media became more a part of our lives, change your world? What if we got back to valuing each other enough to sit around the table to eat rather than in front of the tell-a-vision? Like a pebble dropped into a pond the ripple effect could go further than you could ever imagine. If you consume media for the rest of the year filled with faith, hope, and love more than the death, despair, and destruction running 24/7 in our social media platforms and news, how different could next year be compared to this year regardless of external circumstances?
I dare you to turn the radio and TV off, get off social media for just one month and go back to reading books written on paper and chatting to people in person and see if your life is any different even in just that short period of time.
Not only will you cut hours of negativity out of your life you will awaken a part of your brain that is desperate for you to exercise it.
Regardless of who is in power or the rules they make they can’t control your mind unless you give them permission. Exercise your brain like an athlete trains for the Olympics. It needs conditioning, strengthening, and nourishment. This doesn’t happen by accident it takes proactive choices and action.
So which of C.S. Lewis’s books that you haven’t read yet will you get from your local library or bookshop? Which other authors from decades past should we be blowing the cobwebs off?
Next Time: What would you like me to write about next time?
Neville Hiatt was the 2020 Press Services International Tronson Senior Writers Award Winner for Australia. His previous posts for can be read here. He spent a decade working for Radio Stations before his career was intermissioned by someone in a hurry to get home from work. For more of his award winning creativity visit http://nevillehiatt.com. He also blogs for http://altcoincollege.com/ covering the way cryptocurrencies and blockchain are changing our world.