MY DEAR WORMWOOD,
I am delighted to hear that your patient's age and profession make it possible, but by no means certain, that he will be called up for military service. We want him to be in the maximum uncertainty, so that his mind will be filled with contradictory pictures of the future, every one of which arouses hope or fear. There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human's mind against the enemy. He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.
Your affectionate Uncle,
I would like to confess a bit of very bad theology on my part. Here goes: I feel like God wants to make my recital a real disaster, to teach me a lesson because I haven't worked hard enough or practiced diligently enough. Daddy says that God blesses us most when we deserve it least, but I can't get over feeling like I'm so so lazy and God will punish me in a way, by making my recital dreadful. Anyway... this passage is interesting because my mind is filled with suspense and anxiety (and not just about my recital, either... about my future in many, many respects) about what will happen to me, but also about what I do. Practice, practice, practice... why am I not practicing right now? Because I came down with a dreadful sore throat yesterday and I'm taking it easy right now... but I should be practicing. Why am I so lazy? I need to be more in control of my life. I should be more organized and prepared. Or maybe I need to stop worrying about it and kick Wormwood and Screwtape right out of my mind and let Jesus in.
This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope;
His compassions fail not; they are new every morning.