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Pure Pleasures

C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters depicts a senior devil who is training a junior devil to intercept a man on the verge of becoming a Christian. The young devil is to deter the man from God, or “the Enemy.” The junior devil tries his best to distract his subject, but after a few weeks, he is unsuccessful. The frustrated young devil cannot explain what went wrong but notes that the man did two simple things each day. Every morning he would get up and go for a long walk, thoroughly enjoying the air, the scenery, and all in all, the walk itself. Then every evening, at the end of his day, the man would curl up with a good book, thoroughly delighting in that book, the reading, the time itself. To this, the senior devil notes sharply: “This is where you went horribly wrong! You should have put it into his mind that he had to get up in the morning and take that walk for the sake of exercise. It would have become drudgery to him. And you should have gotten him to read the book so that he could quote it to somebody else. It would have become equally uninspiring. You allowed him to enjoy such pure pleasure that the Enemy’s voice became more audible within those experiences. That is where you went wrong.”

Life Is Sweet – Ravi Zacharias

The power which enabled an ignorant, illiterate colored child to conquer an intelligent man…

One afternoon he was helping his uncle grind wheat in an old

fashioned mill. The uncle operated a large farm on which a number

of colored sharecrop farmers lived. Quietly, the door was opened,

and a small colored child, the daughter of a tenant, walked in and took her place near the door.

The uncle looked up, saw the child, and barked at her roughly,

“what do you want?”

Meekly, the child replied, “My mammy say send her fifty cents.”

“I’ll not do it,” the uncle retorted, “Now you run on home.”

“Yas sah,” the child replied. But she did not move.

The uncle went ahead with his work, so busily engaged that he

did not pay enough attention to the child to observe that she did

not leave. When he looked up and saw her still standing there, he

yelled at her, “I told you to go on home! Now go, or I’ll take a switch

to you.”

The little girl said “yas sah,” but she did not budge an inch.

The uncle dropped a sack of grain he was about to pour into

the mill hopper, picked up a barrel stave, and started toward the

child with an expression on his face that indicated trouble.

Darby held his breath. He was certain he was about to witness

a murder. He knew his uncle had a fierce temper. He knew that

colored children were not supposed to defy white people in that part

of the country.

When the uncle reached the spot where the child was

standing, she quickly stepped forward one step, looked up into his

eyes, and screamed at the top of her shrill voice,


The uncle stopped, looked at her for a minute, then slowly laid

the barrel stave on the floor, put his hand in his pocket, took out

half a dollar, and gave it to her.

The child took the money and slowly backed toward the door,

never taking her eyes off the man whom she had just conquered.

After she had gone, the uncle sat down on a box and looked out the

window into space for more than ten minutes. He was pondering,

with awe, over the whipping he had just taken.

Excerpt from Think and Grow Rich Book by Napoleon Hill