“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”
The above was written by C. S. Lewis (1898-1963).
I first encountered his writing when I was four years old. I vividly recall listening to a governess reading the Voyage of the Dawn Treader while I sat on the floor. It was the first story I remember.
It is peculiar how only certain memories stand out from all the rest and often with unusual clarity. For me, these are brief instances of no more than a second or two. They seem imbued with a kind of powerful emotion, and certain specific details: like the time of day, the color of the light, and what the weather was doing at the time. Taken together, such memories create a sense of happiness. That particular moment was important. It inspired in me the want to read and to live stories like that one over and over in my mind.
Voyage was the third Lewis wrote in the Chronicles of Narnia. All in all, he wrote seven in the series between 1950 and 1956. I’ve read them all more than once. I was oblivious to their Christian messages until I was much older and read more of his work.
During my senior year of high school, theology was mandatory. One of the several texts I read was Lewis’ Miracles. I was never one to read a great deal of Christian thought, but I found Lewis’ arguments persuasive and with a unique sense of humor.
It was said that he asked his publisher to give away most of his royalties to various charities, since money was coming in by the bucket, only to exclaim that no good deed goes unpunished when he received the tax bill for all the income he had earned.
One my favorite quotes of his: “History isn’t just the story of bad people doing bad things. It’s quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.”