Ever since college days Christy and I have been fans of the “Chronicles of Narnia” by C. S. Lewis. We read them to our children when they were young, literally wearing out two sets of paper backs before we bought them in hard-cover. It should be no surprise, then, that we went to see “Prince Caspian” when the movie was released a couple of weeks ago. There were some deviations from the book (as expected), but it followed the story fairly well, and one could clearly see the spiritual lessons that Lewis communicated in his book. It was also just a well-done enjoyable movie. Let me share a few truths the movie reminded me of.
As the four main characters; Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy abruptly return to Narnia, they find themselves in a much later time period than when they had been there before. The situation is that Narnia is soon to be destroyed and controlled by a group of people called the Telmarines. Something needs to be done quickly, and they are viewed as the answer to Narnia’s woes. Very quickley an army is formed to follow them. The problem is that Aslan (a lion who is a type of Jesus) seemly has been silent. They are faced with that difficult situation of waiting on a God who does not seem to be responding. The questions arise: “Doesn’t He care?” “Is He still even alive?” “Why would He allow such evil to occur?” “How long do we just wait?”
Peter decides that he can’t wait, He takes things into his own hands, devises a plan, and attacks the Telmarines. There is great loss of life and great shame. Those who had looked to him to save them, now had great doubts. Just like us, after failure there was blame shifting, and refusal to recognize that the issue was a spiritual one. How often have we taken matters into our own hands instead of believing God, and then been frustrated when things didn’t go well? How often do we blame others for our failures?
Lucy is the youngest, and even though her faith is the strongest, she is ignored. She keeps seeing Aslan at a distance, but the others don’t see him and don’t believe her. She becomes frustrated with them and views their lack of faith as the reason for many of the problems they face. In the end, when disaster is imminent, they send her to get Aslan. When she sees him she begins to complain about their lack of faith, but is stopped by his question, “but why didn’t you come to me?” How often have we let someone else’s lack of faith control our actions? It was a good reminder that we all individually answer to the Lord for the things we do (Romans 14).
Edmund is an example of a person whose faith has grown. In an earlier book he was the one deceived by the witch (portraying Satan). She had tempted him with Turkish delights – his weakness being sweets. In this story she tempts Peter with a promise of power (Satan always matches temptation to an individual’s personal desire). Edmund is now the one who is able to help his brother by defeating her. That is an important reminder of how we need each other. When we have learned lessons about life, temptation, failure, and faith, we are then in a position to help others, even if their area of temptation is not the same as ours!
It’s a good story. Not the place where we ultimately learn truth (that is always the Bible), but a good reminder of the truths that we should be applying to life. It always helps to see things expressed in other ways. I highly recommend the story in book or movie form. Oh, by the way, in the end Aslan is there just in time, just like our Lord!