Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Magic Rings

Discover Card paid us back today. My family and I went on a little trip we take annually this time of the year to spend part of that 3% in the way of Borders cards and then Red Lobster later (disclaimer: this blog cannot endorse everything that Borders, Red Lobster, and Discover Card does, including popcorn shrimp). Well, my in-laws bought us the entire CD set of The Chronicles of Narnia by Clive Staples Lewis, who preferred "Jack" at age four. They are a well-done dramatized version by Focus on the Family (more disclaiming). We listened to the first CD in the car along the way.

OK, let me get to the point. In the first book, Digory, whom Aslan calls "son of Adam," travels to the tree to pick an apple with hopes that his mother, back in the real world, will be healed. If you know nothing about these books, bear with this. In route, having forgotten food, Digory and his friend Polly, whom Aslan calls "daughter of Eve," mention being hungry. They wonder why Aslan hadn't sent them with some victuals, especially seeing that Fledge, their winged horse, could chomp down on the super-abundant grass. Fledge suggests that Aslan would gladly provide and surely if they had asked. Yes, prayer. Digory and Polly discuss whether it might be a good idea to use some of the magic they have at their disposal, a primary methodology of the wicked witch and also obviously a human solution that tends toward magnifying their own cleverness. They could slip on their gold rings for a quick trip back home to raid their own ice box. They decide that they will not be lead by their own lust, but by the plan that had been laid out for them. They practice contentment, avert panic, and lean not on their own understanding, resulting in providential feeding without diversion from the right path. I thought a couple of ideas at that juncture: how prescient Lewis was to see the danger of men using their own devices to complete God's works and that perhaps this is how it already was in his day as it has always been.

In no way am I pushing C. S. Lewis theology or philosophy. His fiction is usually judged to be good literature conducive to a higher level of thought than the modern stuff for children. Putting that aside for a moment, what is it that we trust or utilize to accomplish God's will? When God lays out a plan and we add our own "magic rings," we might get what is required in the short term, but is God glorified and what long term havoc do we cause to the work of the Lord?

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