Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The problem with Narnia


I really enjoyed the new Narnia movie “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”. My niece and I went out this past Sunday to see it and I was not disappointed. I could have easily done without the extra 3-D expense, I’d have been fine with regular D, but I still have very few beefs with the movie. In fact, I only have two.

In an effort to not spoil the movie for you, I’ll only share one… and it’s the same problem I have with the Narnia books, CS. Lewis, and all the movies.
You see, I fully expect, demand even, that the Pevensie kids should be in each book. It’s supposed to be about them. Every time I see Peter and Susan no longer allowed into Narnia it deeply upsets me – that’s not how it’s supposed to be! And then to have precious Lucy and Edmund banned… I’m telling you, I barely control a hissy fit. Not Lucy… Lucy HAS to be in the movie. There is no Narnia without HER. SHE discovered it. SHE is, among the 4 main characters, the mainest. (What’s that spell checker? Mainest isn’t a word?)

It upsets me.
I literally hate CS Lewis for doing it.
Because it’s a lesson I just don’t want to learn.
It’s not that it’s hard to learn…. I get it, I just don’t want to learn it.

You see, I’m wrong about Narnia. It would be there if there were no Lucy, Susan, Peter, or Edmund. It’d be there if there had never had been a Mr and Mrs Beaver, Reepicheep, or Tumnus the fawn. It’d be there even without the White Witch, the Caspian family, or Jill Pole.

Because the story isn’t about Narnia, the War, the kids, or belief in something good beyond this world.
The story is about Aslan. Where He is, the story is.

I want the stories of this world to be about us. I want it to be about the little orphan girl in Haiti, the old man dying with cancer; the homeless man on the street corner who gets a new life and a new job through a second chance. I want it to be about the people that blocked the big bad villains from protesting at a military funeral. I want it to be about a girl who said “Yes, I do believe” when her classmate pointed a gun at her face.
I want my story to be about me so people will see and know what I’ve done, been through, gained victory over.

But it’s not. I can be written out of the story at any time, so can you. The main character will be the main character no matter how many times I try and upstage Him. Lucy called Him Aslan, but I know Him by another name.

And just recently, He wrote me out of my own story.

You see, for years, I’ve struggled with being strict, and harsh; from demanding perfection and saying pointed things when I shouldn’t. I pointed out every little thing, when sometimes, people just needed to be able to grow in their own free time, in Gods time. I hated it in myself, but wasn’t able to stop – even if I didn’t say it, the thoughts rolled around in my heart diseasing me like an ugly abscess.

And then one day, the abscess was gone.

I played no vital role in its removal, didn’t even notice it until I realized how peaceful I was all of a sudden when someone was doing something that I normally would have at least internally reacted to. In the story of my life, pages turned and I never saw it, wars were fought and I lifted no sword. Because it wasn’t my story. It’s His.

I hope I find a way to remember that feeling of filth that I’d struggled with, if for no other reason that it will let me continue to rejoice in this peace. I’m a nicer person now than I was even 3 weeks ago. If you don’t know it, you soon will. A chain that shackled me is now loosed. And I don’t even know when or why He won my victory. But it’s a story. I bet it’s a good story too. But it’s not going to be found in any book about me. I just get to appear in a book about Him. He put my name in the book.

Thank God.

1 comment:

Nate said...

Wow, I never thought of that aspect of the Narnia epic. I too was disappointed when the Pevensies were gradually denied access. But you're right, it's because Aslan is the main character. And likewise, we're not the main characters in this story- Jesus is. We'll pass on, and he'll keep working.