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May 10, 2011

a few months ago when the chronicles of narnia: voyage of the dawntreader came out in theaters, i went to see it with my friends after much protesting on my part. it wasn’t that i didn’t want to see the movie, but i was dealing with insecurities about my singleness and it just so happened that the only people going were two couples. normally i would have been able to handle it, but that night in particular i simply wasn’t allowing God to be enough for me. i felt unwanted, unloved, and unpretty. i chose this lie over the truth that was blatantly in front of me. fortunately for me, my friend jake called me and pretty much convinced to go because he would be there too being single. so i went. and the Lord really used the movie to speak to me through a scene with aslan and lucy. in fact, that’s about the only scene i remembered from the film until i watched it two days ago. it amazes me how the Lord will use whatever means necessary to reach my distant, cold heart. this time around, there were a few scenes that really struck a chord in my life.

#1. the scene with aslan and lucy still was very fitting for my life at the moment. it takes place after lucy finds a spell that can make her a beautiful as her sister susan. however once she cast the spell, she catches a glimpse of what life would look like without her own self in it. then aslan appears in her dreamlike state and they have the following conversation:

aslan: “lucy. what have you done, child?”

lucy: “i don’t know. that was awful.”

aslan: “but you chose it, Lucy.”

lucy: “i didn’t mean to choose all of that. i just wanted to be beautiful like susan, that’s all.”

aslan: “you wished yourself away. and with it, much more.”

lucy: “i’m so sorry”

aslan: “you doubt your value. don’t run from who you are.”

end scene. short and simple. yet when i watched this the first time, i couldn’t help but to get a little emotional. thank goodness for dark theaters, because i didn’t want to have to explain why the heck i was crying throughout this scene.

i see a lot of myself in lucy. she looks around at other girls and is in constant comparison, questioning: why are no boys talking to me? why am i not as pretty as her? what can i do to be more beautiful? however, in the story, she has an out: a spell that can change how she looks. but whenever she glimpses what a life like that would look like, it’s not quite what she expected. i wrestle a lot with my self-image and find myself consumed. lucy was consumed too. and when aslan asks her what she did, she has no response. and he reminds her that she chose it. just like i find myself reminded by the Lord that i choose to live a self-obsessed life.  and when she tells him why she did it, she says she just wants to be beautiful, that’s all. that’s everything! she is telling aslan she isn’t good enough. i’m telling God that his creation isn’t good enough. that he made a mistake. that changes need to be made. i need to remember psalm 139, because God knows what he is doing. he knows his creation. and he thinks it is beautiful. he delights in me, and i tell him i’m not worthy? who the heck am i? i have value. why do i doubt like lucy? he has made me. he has defined me. and that should be enough.

#2. this book/movie’s theme is definitely temptation. it’s quite obvious. their whole mission has been to save the lost souls who have been taken by an evil force. towards the end of the movie when they are about to face the threat of temptation of their greatest weaknesses, prince caspian makes a speech:

“no matters what happens here, every soul that stands before me has earned their place on the crew of the dawn treader. together we have traveled far, together we have faced adversity, together, we can do it again. so now is not the time to fall to fierce temptations. be strong. never give in. our world, our narnian lives depend on it. think of the lost souls we are here to save. think of aslan. think of narnia.”

am i the only one who is totally pumped up after that? i mean, i know it isn’t exactly in “real world” terms, but the message is real enough. it’s a message of perseverance in a time when temptation bears down hard. lately i have been feeling really bogged down just by life and by the weight of my sin. the topic perseverance has been repeatedly popping up in various areas of my life-church, leadership, friendships and then this movie. i for sure take notice when i find it is commonly appearing in my day-to-day. not only does this speak on perseverance, but  i feel that it is a message of encouragement to continue working for the kingdom-especially when he says, “think of the lost souls we are here to save.” we are on a mission while here on earth to see God glorified and to spread his word in the hopes of all those that are lost to be saved. he also emphasizes the importance of fellowship and community. we are in this together. we, together as a body of believers, have overcome this world through Christ’s death on the cross and by his saving grace, we have overcome as well. temptation is relentless, but we must “be strong. never give in.” we are here for a reason. and while facing trials and temptations, we must persevere while looking to God and to our inheritance in heaven. which leads perfectly into my next quote….

#3. at the end of the movie, eustice, caspian, lucy, edmond and reepicheep travel to aslan’s land where they find aslan waiting on the shores of the promise land. aslan gives them the choice of remaining in the world or continuing on into his kingdom without the chance to return. it’s the moment that i know i long for. a chance to be free from my sinful, human body and be transformed into a new body-perfect and unaffected by worldly desire and temptations. oh, what a glorious freedom to know God and worship him all of eternity. i can’t wait! but in the film, reepicheep bounds forth into aslan’s kingdom, but before he does, says this:

ever since i can remember, i have dreamt of seeing your country. i’ve had many great adventures in this world, but nothing has dampered that yearning. i know i am hardly worthy, but with your permission, i would lay down my sword for the joy of seeing your country with my own eyes…i won’t be needing this (tossing sword aside)”

i pray that i can have that attitude until the day i see my king. i can enjoy this life and live it out for my Lord, but know that a much greater adventure awaits me. i pray that nothing will damper my yearning either. and i love the visual of reepicheep tossing aside his sword and knowing that he won’t need it. if you’ve watched the films, you may know that reepicheep’s identity is as a soldier of narnia. he lives for battle and honor. yet tosses all that aside at the snap of a finger just to go forth into aslan’s land and experience his kingdom. how freeing that must feel. i identify myself by so many things here and live to accomplish certain goals, but i must remember that those things are nothing in comparison with the glorious riches that God offers me.

these are just three things that stuck out to me in the first two viewings of the movie. i can only imagine what outlet the Lord will use next to get through to me. but for now, i am thankful for c.s. lewis writing such a dynamic and powerful literature that i can relate to. God is good.

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