"And it remains true that I have, almost all of my life, been quite unable to feel that horror of nonentity, of annhilation, which, say Dr. Johnson felt so strongly. I felt it for the first time only in 1947. But that was after I had long been reconverted and thus begun to know what life really is and what would be lost by missing it."
(Surprised by Joy, Harcourt Brace and Company, p. 117.)
There was one way in which the world, as ... rationalism taught me to see it, gratified my wishes. It might be grim and deadly but at least it was free from the Christian God. Some people (not all) will find it hard to understand why this seemed to me such an overwhelming advantage... I was, as you may remember, one whose negative demands were more violent than his positive, far more eager to escape pain than to achieve happiness, and feeling it something of an outrage that I had been created without my own permission. To such a craven the materialist's universe had the enormous attraction that it offered you limited liabilities. No strictly infinite disaster could overtake you in it. Death ended all. And if ever finite disaster proved greater than one wished to bear suicide would always be possible. The horror of the Christian universe was that it had no door marked Exit.
"You must picture me alone in that room at Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The hardness of God is softer than the softness of men." (C S Lewis) p. 228-229.