So far we have made it through the Magician’s Nephew, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Today we started The Horse and His Boy and I think it's safe to say that we are all hooked!
All throughout the first two books I have especially appreciated the symbolism and beauty of C.S. Lewis’ writings. Even though it's all fantasy, there are so many parallels to our own story of redemption and salvation. It has been another reminder to the kids and I about the true sacrifice and love of our Saviour and Father, who is played in the books by a lion named Aslan.
One of my favourite parts in our reading so far has been the description of the ride Susan and Lucy take on Aslan after He has returned to life. I've attached the passage below:
Aslan said, “We have a long journey to go. You must ride on me.” And he crouched down and the children climbed onto his warm, golden back, and Susan sat first, holding on tightly to his mane and Lucy sat behind holding on tightly to Susan. And with a great heave he rose underneath them and then shot off, faster than any horse could go, down hill and into the thick of the forest. That ride was perhaps the most wonderful thing that happened to them in Narnia. Have you ever had a gallop on a horse? Think of that; and then take away the heavy noise of hoofs and the jingle of bits and imagine instead the almost noiseless padding of the great paws. Then imagine instead of the black or gray or chestnut back of the horse the soft roughness of golden fur, and the mane flying back in the wind. And then imagine you are going about twice as fast as the fastest racehorse. But this is a mount that doesn't need to be guided and never grows tired. He rushes on and on, never missing his footing, never hesitating, threading his way with perfect skill between tree trunks, jumping over bush and briar and the smaller streams, wading the larger, swimming the largest of all. And you are riding not on a road nor in a park nor even on the downs, but right across Narnia, in spring, down solemn avenues of beech and across sunny glades of oak, through wild orchards of snow-white cherry trees, past roaring waterfalls and mossy rocks and echoing caverns, up windy slopes alight with gorse bushes, and across the shoulders of heathery mountains and along giddy ridges and down, down, down again into wild valleys and out into the acres of blue flowers.
~ Chapter 15: Deeper Magic from before the Dawn of Time - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
I don't know about you, but I feel an invigorating sensation when I read this section of the book. C.S. Lewis had done an amazing job articulating the journey of Aslan, which can also be OUR journey as we 'ride' on the back of our Maker. The part that captures me the most is what is written about the way Aslan travels: A mount that doesn't need to be guided and never grows tired. He rushes on and on, never missing his footing, never hesitating.
I think about the way I often go through life and how so many times I like to take the 'driver's seat'. I like to be in control. I like to know what's ahead and ensure that my needs and wants are taken care of. But it's a rough climb when I go alone. Hurdles slow me down, distractions cause me to hestitate and lose focus, I stumble and grow weary. No matter how much I try to get there, I can't do it on my own.
And yet I think about the way that the girls mounted up on the Lion. They accepted His invitation, and they experienced the most beautiful part of Narnia. The glory of His creation combined with the speed, precision and endurance of His strength. A mount that doesn't need to be guided because He IS the guide.
When we allow Him to lead, it's like a roller coaster - ups and downs, twists and turns, and moments that take your breath away. But we can rest easy knowing that He is with us every step.
How I long to be lifted up from the winding road I am on and rest easy by believing that He knows the way and He will protect me from harm. It's a choice of surrender, but at the same time, a choice of life. It means letting go of the map, and trusting the path to the One who made it. It's taking my focus off of the ground at my feet and lifting my eyes of the beauty of my surroundings. It's forgetting about how to take care of myself and finding comfort in the presence of the Leader. It's the only way to experience life as it is intended.
After all, He is the Way.
Just as it is repeated throughout the books, Aslan is on the move... My God is on the move. There is ground to cover and walls to be broken down and I can't do it alone. It is my hope, day after day, that I accept His invitation and let Him lead. It's an adventure I don't want to miss.