Friday, July 15, 2005I just walked into my apartment and turned on the television to see Jack Nicklaus walking off the 18th hole at St. Andrews after shooting a birdie. I follow the major tournaments but I'm not a golf connoisseur, and I still got partly choked up. Sheesh.
To speak on something completely unrelated, I'm halfway through The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I can't fully speak on the book yet, but I've noticed something of a theme in Lewis' tale. Here it is: When all four of the children first reach Narnia, Edmund is against Aslan. He is fearful, bitter and, indeed, angry. Why? He has a direct encounter with evil. The other children are excited about the thought of meeting Aslan. Their hearts are warmed by the very mention of his name.
I think C.S. Lewis is herein suggesting that though we come to God through Christ alone, we approach Him through two different means. One on hand, some of us might be driven to the Cross by guilt, anger or even shame. We know we have done some grave wrong, and we long to have that wrong made right. We know that we have some deep-seated resentment or bitterness, and we search for someone who will relieve us of such weight. Like Edmund (and Paul!), we are kicking against the goads. On the other hand, we are sometimes like Peter, Susan and Lucy. We come to the Cross out of a sense of wonder and amazement that the great King who made the whole world would love each of us as individuals. We are awed by the love and the mercy of the Cross.
I don't think that Lewis is arguing that we are without sin. Not by any means. I think he is simply discussing one of two things. First, he may just be acknowledging the two paradigms of the Christian life. At times in our life we are drawn to our Lord by the weight of sin and shame. At other times we come to Him out of a sense of joy and wonder, wholly amazed by His beauty and grace. The second possible argument that Lewis is establishing is simply the motive of our coming to the Cross. Of course we come to Christ by His grace alone, yet we are human and I believe that the Lord makes appeals to our personality. Some of us have life experiences that would send us to the Cross with a greater sense of our frailty, others come to it by simply seeing a glimpse of the Savior's majesty and there finding something worth chasing and pursuing with all our might.
Just some thoughts on Narnia and the King. Hope you like it.