If you haven’t read C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce, shame on you. In the ninth chapter, Lewis encounters George Macdonald. In the course of their conversation, Macdonald is explaining to Lewis about choices. He recounts to Lewis the story of Sir Archibald, a man utterly controlled by his research in both life and the afterlife. When he died Archibald arrived in Heaven, but “[t]his country was no use to him at all.” Why? Because “his occupation was clean gone.” His research was useless in Heaven, so “in the end he went away” becuase it meant more to him than entering into joy. To this story Lewis, in his then ignorance, responds, “How fantastic!”
“Do ye think so?” said [Macdonald] with a piercing glance. “It is nearer to such as you than ye think. There have been men before now who got so interested in proving the existence of God that they came to care nothing for God Himself…as if the good Lord had nothing to do but exist! There have been some who were so occupied in spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ. Man! Ye see it in smaller matters. Did ye never know a lover of books that with all his first editions and signed copies had lost the power to read them? Or an organiser of charities that had lost all love for the poor? It is the subtlest of all the snares.”
Let us take heed.