Ode to Wormwood (Inspired by The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis)

Your job is not difficult,
junior worker for the dark.
Your task in the main
is to hinder your subject’s work
for the enemy.
It’s no secret
the war is lost
but we have many battles
which we may yet win,
so do your best for the company.

You’ve reported
he is passionate.
Well, that is fine,
passions can be redirected.
His enthusiasm for
memorizing scripture,
sharing his faith,
or uplifting others of the opposition
can be channeled toward innocuous pursuits
the moment they are detected.

You say he persists in meeting with his ilk,
sometimes more than twice a week.
This simply indicates you’re lazy.
How hard is it to suggest alternatives to him?
There are dozens of human sports being played on Sunday.
You can encourage him to stay up too late on Saturday.
If you fail to keep him from raining on your weekend,
talk him into believing that’s holiness enough for one week,
or your scorecard may be grim.

Finally, beginning agent,
among your allies,
in addition to the usual vices
are those modern conveniences
such as the internet.
Oh sure, it’s a portal to all
sorts of invaluable sin,
but the not so obvious boon to our business
is its ability to keep him harmlessly busy.
Keep those hours high,
and you may make senior grade demon yet.

© Joel Tipple
#17/14

Pursue Your Passion

When I began my University studies, all incoming students were required to complete an English essay. This was basically done to judge our creative writing skills and to ensure we would be able to handle the courses and their writing requirements. Sometime later, the scores were posted outside. Although I worked hard, I was not normally an A student, so when I found my score near the top of the hundreds of students, I was surprised. Later on, I wondered whether I should have pursued a degree focused on Creative Writing instead of Journalism. Although I’ve always been grateful for the writing discipline my degree taught me, there have been times when I wished I had pursued something less “practical.”

Now, years later, I have dropped any pretense of being practical, and I’m doing the kind of writing I love, knowing that whether I succeed or not, I will have gone after my passion. I really can’t see any downside to that, no matter what your age. I believe at the end of our lives, we will have infinitely greater regrets over those dreams we failed to chase than the ones we went after. The recipe for success is different for every person, but I believe the efforts to pursue what most brings us alive are always worth it. God plants those desires in us for a reason, after all.