Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lessons from Narnia, Learning to Count the Cost

I just finished rereading Prince Caspian in preparation of soon (I hope) seeing the movie. Now it had been several years since the last time I read this series, but I've always found C.S. Lewis to be an amazing person and story teller. In the Chronicles of Narnia series one of my favorite (okay so I don't really have favorites as you'll soon see but humor me) characters is Aslan. For those of you who for some reason have yet to read the Chronicles of Narnia, the whole series is an allegory, with Aslan representing God. The first time Lucy sees Aslan again in Prince Caspian the dialogue goes something like this:

"Aslan," said Lucy, "you're bigger."
"That is because you are older, little one," answered he.
" Not because you are?"
" I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger." (p. 136 in the 1960 edition)

This is so like God. As we grow in our faith, mature, move from being babies to children, to adolescents, to adults, instead of getting smaller because we've found out everything we know about God. He gets bigger, because we can never know everything about him. There will always be something to learn about him. When I was growing up, I would spend the night occasionally at my Aunt Jo and Uncle Dave's house with my two cousins. All three of us would fit on one air mattress with room to spare in one bedroom. I thought it was one of the biggest rooms ever. Imagine my surprise when I spent the night over there a few summers ago and realized that there was barely enough room for two of us in the room. Because I had gotten bigger, everything else seemed to have gotten smaller. It's the exact opposite with God. As we grow up in him, he reveals more of himself to us in ways that we might not have understood before.

There is one other part that I want to mention. On page 148 of my version, all the children all finally able to see Aslan. A couple of them are reprimanded for not trusting what Lucy saw, except for Edmund. Edmund had believed Lucy right off the bat. Why? I think because he knew the cost that Aslan had paid for him. He knew the cost of unbelief. He took his past and learned from it. Because of that, because he trusted what Lucy saw, he was rewarded with hearing the words, "Well done". We need to remember the cost of our unbelief, the cost of our sin, Jesus died for us, took our place, just like Aslan took Edmund's place in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Count the Cost, because he counted the cost for you.

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