As I have said many times before, Jana and I do our best to regularly read to our children. For the past eighteen months or so we have been working our way through C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. We have just finished the sixth of seven books titled “The Silver Chair.”
The part of the book that really stood out to me was when the witch had put a spell on Eustace, Jill, and Prince Rillian. Poor Puddleglum was doing all that he could to fight the magic – trying his best to hold on to distant memories of Narnia (and not succumb to the captivity of the Underworld). The Marsh-Wiggle questions, “But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia…we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say” (191).
On a similar note, an apostle once wrote, “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:19-21, ESV).
This world is not what it was supposed to be. And it is not what it needs to be. So here we are, the church, caught between two worlds. Surrounded by the Underworld and those individuals caught in a deadly spell. So we hold tightly to Narnia – we know that even though the witch seems to call the shots the Lion is still roaming about (and above).
So live with courage. The Kingdom is now but not yet. Live under the authority of another Ruler. We don’t show off – but we show the way. We don’t live in such a way that says, “We know better” – but in the way that says, “We know One better.” We are on Aslan’s side.