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Old age and sin
(Excerpt from CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, in which Screwtape advises Wormwood on using time to wear down a soul.)

The enemy has guarded him from you through the first great wave of temptations. But, if only he can be kept alive, you have time itself for an ally. The long, dull, monotonous years of... middle aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather. You see, it is so hard for these creatures to persevere. The routine of adversity, the gradual decay of youthful loves or youthful hopes, the quiet despair (hardly felt as pain) of ever overcoming the chronic temptations with which we have again and again defeated them, the drabness which we create in their lives and the inarticulate resentment with which we teach them to respond to it--- all this provides admirable opportunities for wearing out a soul by attrition."

If you are unfamiliar with this work of CS Lewis it is a fictional account of one demon writing to another demon instructions on the best method of causing a Christian to fall.

Paul seems to have a similar thought about this possiblity when he writes of himself "...lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." A falling away in old age. A collapse, after years of service and struggle. Is it possible to let the years of struggle wear us down by attrition and bring about in old age what the enemy of our souls could not accomplish when we were young and strong, with the word of God abiding in us?

I think so. We have to finish the course strongly. We have to understand that "God's mercies are new every morning". Past failures speak nothing of today and his grace can renew our hearts even in the twilight years just as it did in youth. Paul elsewhere taught that experience should produce hope and that hope would not lead us to shame.

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We miss you. I have a break the last week of August and hoping that we can get ole works a lot to take some time and we can fly out to see you guys. He only took a half day off for our wedding/honeymoon so I think we have earned it.

that was me....the other Mrs. Sweet :)

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