I had an in-depth conversation this weekend with a good friend of mine and fellow author, James Peercy. He’s an author of fantasy (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7540755-james-peercy), and although I have not ventured into the realm of fantasy writing (yet), it’s one of my favorite genres. I, of course, love Harry Potter (as expressed in previous blog posts such as https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/i-believe-in-dragons/). I’m also a fan of Tolkien’s world and although I haven’t read the books, I’m really enjoying my journey into Westernos in Game of Thrones. My favorite fictional land, however, to this day remains CS Lewis’ magical Narnia, Aslan’s Country.
I think there comes a time in all of our lives that we need a Narnia: a land of magic, a land of redemption, a land of beauty. In it’s golden age, Narnia is a land untouched by greed or a thirst for power. Its inhabitants live and coexist peacefully with love and respect for one another. Narnia is, I believe, as close to my idea of Heaven as anything I’ll ever see on this Earth. Except, perhaps, the Isle of Iona, but that’s another blog post.
This weekend, I decided to revisit Narnia in the form of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie. As I was watching, not only was my love and adoration for Ben Barnes renewed, but I found myself thinking back to the conversation I’d had with James. We’d spoken of all the things in life that cannot be explained, all the mysteries that remain unsolved, and all the wonders that have yet to be made known. I thought, “How fortunate the Pevensie children were to discover a place like Narnia! What I wouldn’t give!”
But then I remembered something else. The Pevensie children didn’t really discover Narnia. CS Lewis created it and gave it as a gift to the world so that we all might discover. This amazing, wonderful, magical land is a product of one man’s creative mind, and in that moment, I realized how extraordinary that really is. So many wonders of the world are God-given, it’s true, but just think of all the amazing things man has done in his short time here. We’ve walked on the moon. We’ve crossed oceans. We’ve discovered the gift of flight. The truth is there are very few, if any, things that we are not capable of. That’s a terrifying thought, but it’s also, I think, a very profound thought. If we put even a little bit of thought into it, we could do amazing things, not only for ourselves, but for our planet and for all who inhabit it. Instead of wasting energy fighting or obsessing over petty things that really won’t matter in the end, why not focus on the good? On making the world a better place for future generations?
The human mind and the human spirit are incredible. We were, after all, created in the image of God. I think that means a whole lot more than we were created to look like Him. We are capable of so much more than we’ve resigned ourselves to believe. We were designed to do good, to make differences, to create worlds. Maybe 2015 will be the year that we begin to acknowledge it.
Narnia is magical and I regret I held off reading it for so long. I used to have a more negative view of religion and I thought, wrongly, Lewis had just been trying to convert children. Now, I see it much differently. It’s a beautiful expression of his faith and imagination. There definitely comes a time in everyone’s life when they need Narnia too. For me it was after my grandparents had died, and I saw how much religion meant to them. They weren’t people who talked a lot about their faith, but they believed and helped others. They had reasons to be angry and seek revenge at times as well, and they never did. Even when no one would have thought less of them for doing so. Somehow, Narnia makes me think of them: that land where love and justice always seems to conquer fear: that land of endless beauty that became the afterlife.