I had to add a post today because I wanted to share an example from King of the Golden City of how easy it is to give into Self, and what happens when we do. Even the slightest submission can affect an entire day, as demonstrated in the following excerpt:
“Six o’clock – time to get up,” said Dilecta, and she was just going to make a spring, when Self’s sleepy voice was heard:
“It can’t be time yet, and if it is, the clock’s fast or wrong.”
“It was right all day yesterday. Come, get up!”
“Oh! I am so awfully tired…and…and I’ve a head..ache..at least I had one yesterday..and I don’t want to..to have one tomorr..ow or I shan’t enjoy..the fa..ir.”
“If we don’t get up we shan’t get our work done. The King comes this morning, and there’s the floor to sweep and the flowers to get.”
“There’s plen..ty of time yet, and five minutes can’t make any..differ..ence.”
Now Dilecta had been warned again and again by the Prince Guardian not to argue with Self, especially the first thing in the morning. He said there was no lawyer to equal Self at that time. The only thing to do was to spring up at once and not listen to her. Dilecta had been listening all this time, and now she said sleepily:
“Oh, ve..ry we..ll..then..just five minutes..an’ we’ll take care to keee..p awaake..” So they turned over and in less than one minute were fast asleep again.
The sun was shining brightly into the hut when Dilecta woke with a start:
“Oh! how late it is. It will be too late, and it’s all your fault, Self. I told you we should miss the King. And now he will have knocked and had no answer – and passed us by!
She spoke of the King, but I fancy she was more vexed with Self than sorry for his Majesty. And Self was angry, too, for she could not bear blame, especially from Dilecta. It made her feel so uncomfortable.
“It was quite as much your fault as mine,” she said sharply, “and you ought to know better for you’re always preaching.”
They wrangled in this way all the time they were dressing, and at breakfast, and on the way to school. There everything went wrong, and no wonder, for they were not at peace together, and could not leave others in peace. One thing, however, was curious, but it was a fact.
Though Dilecta was cross because Self had got the better of her in the morning, she showed her ill-temper by giving way to Self all the rest of the day. And Self, instead of being satisfied with this, got more and more discontented and disagreeable as the hours went on.
It was late that evening when the Prince Guardian, coming to Dilecta’s hut, saw no light in the little window which was generally a bright patch in the darkness. There was crying within, and, opening the door, he found her sitting on the floor looking hot and angry.
“How is this, Dilecta, all in the dark. Where is your lamp?”
Now, the name of that lamp was “Peace.” It was the King’s special gift to his friends and his directions about it were very important. It was to be kept burning at all costs. No wind nor storm was ever to put it out, and it was never to be left near the window, lest Malignus should put his hand in and take it away. He was always trying to get hold of it. He had been heard to say that he thought he had done a good day’s work if he had succeeded in robbing a little child of its lamp.
Sound familiar? Scenes like this have played out in my life more times than I care to count. There have certainly been times when “Malignus” has taken my lamp. In plain English, I have lost my “peace.” I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the middle of a situation like this, I KNOW I’m there. And although the ball starts rolling with one seemingly small infraction, I watch my day unfold the wrong way, and I often feel powerless to correct it.
On the other hand, when I give up my own will and subject myself entirely to God, I am not only at peace, I also experience a joy that is indescribable. If Self keeps me from feeling that peace, than to “hate” Self is not an overstatement. To reiterate from Tuesday’s post, Self must be kept under control at all costs.
For Discussion: What a fantastic discussion we had on Tuesday’s post!! For those of you who feel we’ve adequately addressed the issue of SELF, let’s have a little fun with symbolism today.
As you may have noticed, there’s quite a bit of that in KOGC. What do you think the following things or characters represent and why – the hut, the King, Dilecta, Self, the window, wind and storm, the Prince Guardian and Malignus. What about the the reason Dilecta didn’t want to sleep in – because they had the “floor to sweep and the flowers to get” before the King came? To what do these phrases refer? (There are no Right answers)
The above discussion ideas are suggestions. As always, feel free to take this discussion in any direction you wish, related to Spiritual Combat – after all, this is your book club too.
NOTE: I purchased the TAN version of Spiritual Combat today because I liked the idea of the short chapters I’d heard about from other readers. As I began searching for my current spot and comparing my new book to the Sophia version, a light bulb went off. The reason so many of you are asking for specific page numbers is because you can’t find the quote I used! Unfortunately, you won’t, because the Sophia and TAN versions are two different translations. The information is the same, but the words are not. I apologize for any confusion this has caused. I’m sure there are many things we’ll have to learn as we go. For the duration of this book, I’ll try to alternate versions; but in the future, I’ll select a version of whatever book we’ll be reading and let you know in advance so you have plenty of time to get the book. In the event that you are reading a different version, no worries – the quotes won’t be the same, but we’ll be discussing the same topics. Actually, it could allow us to learn even more because comparing translations could help us to delve even deeper into these issues.
PS: For those of you who are catching up: Click here for the posts explaining the book club and to get oriented to where we are!