It never fails. Every time I pick up a book, a book that holds the world of Narnia, I am transported. It’s like I’m given a key into a new time, a new place, a new space, a world in which I am allowed to forget my own. Yet, to be sure, there are echoes this world in that world.
But Narnia is a land all its own. A land of mountains and valleys, of cool green meadows where fauns dance and the animals talk. A land of the glistening eastern sea. A land of plenty. A land of lessons. A land that once you experience it, is unforgettable.
To even begin to talk about Narnia begs the question: where does one even start? Do you start with the characters or the feeling of being whisked out of this world and into another? Do you start with the lessons that you have learned, the tears that you have shed, or the adventures that you have gone on?
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If you have never had the pleasure of meeting Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter through the words of C.S. Lewis, my Friend, you are missing out! I know of no other way of saying this: stop reading my words and go get a a copy of ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe!’ Begin at the beginning and discover Narnia through the masterful words of the man who brought this world to life for so many thousands of people.
Lessons are brought to life through the inhabitants of Narnia and its visitors. Lessons that would be hard to learn in our world are much easier to absorb as you read the adventures of others. Allow me to share with you some of the lessons that I have learned as I’ve absorbed the world of Narnia through Lewis’ words:
From Reepicheep I learned that courage is paramount. It matters not how big or small you are. It matters not what others think of you. Courage is being able to acknowledge the fear and choosing to take a step in the right direction in spite of the fear – sometimes even through your fear.
From Caspian I learned the value of keeping a promise. Some promises are hard to keep. Some promises will tax you to the very end of your strength. But, oh the wonders and the worlds to be seen when you are a person of your word. What character is built within you as you follow through on that which you have promised.
From Edmund, I learned how selfish I can be. It is so hard to see it in yourself, but looking at Edmond, watching his journey showed me that even when you feel it is impossible, change is possible. I can learn from my mistakes. The hardest part is choosing to admit my mistakes so that I may be able to learn from them.
From Lucy, I learned dependance. Her strength does not come from herself. Her strength comes from her dependance on Aslan. She has such a deep rooted trust in His character and His guidance on all their Narnian adventures that it takes her to depths that the others do not get to experience – and all because of her dependance on Aslan.
From Jewel, I learned the grace of true friendship. To be able to stand by a true and loyal friend, knowing that you can count on that friend for anything, knowing that you would do anything for that friend. Knowing that there are times that conversation flows full and free and other times, it is a pleasure just to be around that person, when words are not necessary. A sign of true friendship is knowing how to find the grace of which to choose in that moment.
From Mr Tumnus, I learned the value of loyalty to the truth. The value of staying true to your friends no matter the consequences. To be sure, we all make mistakes. We all choose the wrong thing on occasion. But when we become aware of our mistake we have the opportunity to change course and reaffirm our loyalty to the truth. Mr Tumnus is a shining example of someone who has made a mistake in giving his loyalties to the wrong person, but when he has the opportunity to change course, he does. Would that we all had the courage to do this!
From Aslan, I learned the peace and comfort of forgiveness. Watching the failures of others and the forgiveness that Aslan extends to them gives me hope. It gives my heart peace because I am not beyond being forgiven. Knowing the grace and forgiveness that he extends is like having him speak ‘dear heart’ to my heart.
From Aravis, I learned persistence. I simply love that she knew what she wanted and she passionately pursued her path no matter the dangers, no matter the distance, no matter the setbacks. She kept moving forward no matter what. I need this reminder so often! So many times, it’s not all about the amount of ground that is covered in a hour or a day, but it is about simply moving forward and never giving up.
From Shasta, I learned that I cannot allow myself to get wrapped up in my own pity party. Yes, there are things that happen. Yes, those things are not all pleasant – some of them are downright awful. Yet, if I allow myself to continue in a downward spiral of feeling sorry for myself, I will not be able to learn from those situations. I will not be able to grow from them or glean the lessons that are to be learned from them.
From Tirian, I learned to be brave. Against every obstacle, he led by example. He fought for his people. He fought for the truth. He showed bravery – he chose to be brave! – against overwhelming odds. He knew the truth so well and held to it with all his might, which gave him the strength to be brave until the end.
I could go on and on with different lesson that I have learned from different characters, different friends that live in Narnia. But what about you? What lessons have you learned from the inhabitants of Narnia?
My Friend, I think that my favorite part of all is that no matter how may times I return to Narnia, I find it waiting for me with open arms. Ready to embrace me when I need to run away to another world and waiting to teach me new lessons, showing me things from a different perspective. No matter how many times I read the Chronicles of Narnia, I am awestruck at how it brings out different lessons and perspectives that I need in that season of my life.
Won’t you join me? Won’t you come with me and, in the words of Reepicheep, “Come further up! Come further in!”
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Elizabeth Tatham, founder of Inspiration in the Everyday, is a homeschooling momma of 5 who loves helping other homeschooling mommas create a unique homeschooling adventure your kids will love…without the overwhelm! Join in on the journey with 7 simple steps to make your homeschooling day go faster, easier, and with less tears here.