The duties God sends us

This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Ruslan book, “Day by Day”. Lewis connection follows:

"Scripture: ‘If you knew the gift of God, and Who it is that says to you, “Give Me a drink”, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water’ (John: 4, 10)


“ ‘If you knew!’ Yes, often in life, when we find ourselves in difficult circumstances, when we resist with all our might fulfilling what we should do, if we knew that this very thing contains for us the source of life, we would, of course, readily accept everything sent to us. So let us never disregard any obligation, even the most difficult one. If we encounter it that means that the Lord Himself is sending it for a purpose. And perhaps we will never receive that great spiritual treasure which the fulfillment of this particular obligation contains, if we miss the opportunity to carry out that which the Lord has appointed for us.

"We often have to bear insults and experience unfairness from those close to us, and, upset at such conduct towards us, we say that it is easier to submit to a trial sent by the Lord than to experience so much grief from people. But isn’t this also a trial sent by God? If He permits it that means that He sends it, and sends it for our betterment. So let us receive everything with love and submission, as if directly from the hands of the Savior Himself, and it will be easier for us. Let us ask Him to give us ‘living water’, even if it comes from a source that is bitter for us.

A Lewis connection is from Letter 21 of “Letters to Malcolm”:

“If we were perfected, prayer would not be a duty, it would be delight. Some day, please God, it will be. The same is true of many other behaviours which now appear as duties. If I loved my neighbour as myself, most of the actions which are now my moral duty would flow out of me as spontaneously as song from a lark or fragrance from a flower. Why is this not so yet? Well, we know, don’t we? Aristotle has taught us that delight is the “bloom” on an unimpeded activity. But the very activities for which we were created are, while we live on earth, variously impeded: by evil in ourselves or in others. Not to practise them is to abandon our humanity. To practise them spontaneously and delightfully is not yet possible. This situation creates the category of duty, the whole specifically moral realm.”


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)