I came to Narnia late in life. I remember hearing about the books from a few people in school, but I had never read them. After I got married, I stumbled across a boxed set of "The Chronicles of Narnia" and decided to buy them on a whim. And then I stated reading them. And then I was hooked.
For a week, Nathan would come home from work and find me on the couch, buried in a book, uncommunicative, and even unaware of his presence.
Not exactly a lot of fun for a newlywed husband!
But I couldn't help it! I was IN Narnia. I dove right in---like diving into the pools in "The Magician's Nephew", and didn't come up for air until after the climax of "The Last Battle."
I fell in love with Narnia.
And then I read them outloud to my kids.
And then we listened to the Radio Theater version---multiple times.
And we watched the movies. Oh, no, not the current movies, but the old BBC ones where Aslan can barely move and looks suspiciously like a puppet. Now we make fun of them, but back then we loved them.
When we heard they were making new movies, we were excited, but concerned. There is such richness in the allegory, and Hollywood is not exactly a bastion of protection for Christian allegory!
But actually, I have enjoyed the new movies- as long as I ignore my purest tendencies that argue with both the subtle and the glaring deviations from C.S. Lewis's masterpieces.
Last night I finally went to "Voyage of the Dawn Treader". And aside from moving the plot around, and the goofy serpent at the end, I really loved it. Oh, and I had issues with their interpretation of changing Eustace back to a boy- one of my very favorite scenes from the books. They missed the point- but since that is not the point of this post I will save that evaluation for another time!
Oh Reep! I love Reepicheep. He is magnificent. He is heroic because of his heart and his complete devotion to Aslan. For him, the facts that he is small and well, a mouse, are somehow transformed into advantages.
Now the movie changes things around a bit. In the book he is just completely and unswervingly committed to going on to Aslan's country, no matter what. In the movie they tried to encapsulate that attitude in a speech at the end. Someday I am going to find the exact script, but for now I have to rely on my memory. He states that he fought every battle and never shrunk back from what was before him. But the greatest desire of his heart is to go forward into Aslan's country. Where else could one want to be anyway?
I got teary eyed as that little rodent made his speech.
I think it is because I want to live that way. Live all out for the Lord, all the time. Embracing adventures. Fighting battles. Standing up for right and honor and justice.
Now my battles look slightly different from Reep's. Mine involve, but are not limited to, managing the development of young and old hearts and minds, creatively managing finances and needs that never seem to be at the same level, forging a marriage in a world that mocks marriage, rejecting the desire for bitterness or anger at wrongs committed against my family, trying to squeeze an extra hour out of that "only 24-hour" day.
I have the battles alright. But I want to take a lesson from that mouse.
Don't hold back.
Have no fear.
Stare the beast in the eye and charge.
And then when the opportunity comes to enter Aslan's country, there are no regrets to hold you back. All that has happened before is just the preface to the story after all.
Oh, that I would live like that mouse.
Period. Exclamation point.