C.S. Lewis wrote more than Narnia. One of the other things he wrote is a Space Trilogy, the second book of which is Perelandra. In it, our hero, Ransom*, is fighting against the evil Dr. Weston. At first, Ransom tries to reason with Dr. Weston, but by the end of the book, they're in a serious knock-down drag out.
SERIOUS. I remember that Ransom is stronger, but Dr. Weston has peculiarly strong claw-like fingernails. It's not pretty.
As a serious theologian, this pissed me off, of course (the whole story, not just the fingernails). Doesn't it seem like a cop-out that the force of good has to resort to beating the crap out of the force of evil? Doesn't that, um, make the force of good less good?
I know, I know. "C.S. Lewis is writing in metaphor. The entire trilogy is a metaphor." I get it. I do. But I still didn't like it.
Today, I thought about Dr. Weston for the first time in a very long time.
You can't run today. You need to go home and make chili and figure out how to love cooking.
You deserve today off. You walked yesterday.
Your running buddy isn't able to run. You should not run as well and then you'll catch back up together.
Your pace is so slow that there really isn't any point in you continuing. Forget the tortoise and the hare. Think about turtles squished on the road. That's reality.
Your excitement about running has waned. Soon you will stop running altogether and start wearing your fancy running shoes to the grocery. You knew you weren't a runner and couldn't keep this up.
I've been reasoning with this voice all friggin' day. It's exhausting. It's maddening. And most of all, it isn't doing any good.
Then I remembered Dr. Weston. And I punched that bastard in the face and ran anyway.
*I like to believe that Douglas Adams was thinking of this story when he created the character of Random Frequent Flier Dent. Lewis's Random is the instrument of God, and Adams's Random was the instrument of the multidimensional Guide. Adams was an atheist, but he was a thoughtful one.