One of the all time favorite books from my childhood is The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis, a story in his Chronicles of Narnia. From WikiNarnia: “The Silver Chair tells the story of Eustace Scrubb‘s second trip to Narnia, accompanied by his friend Jill Pole, who had never been there before. The two of them are running from bullies at their school when they enter a door to hide, and find themselves in Aslan’s country, next to a great cliff. Trying to show off, Pole wandered close to the edge, and in an effort to keep her from falling, Scrubb fell off of the cliff himself. Because of this, the lion Aslan tells Jill the task that he has for both of them, but that her part would now be harder because she made Scrubb fall off the cliff. She needed to remember The Four Signs they would need to find Prince Rilian. Once she remembered them, Aslan blew her into Narnia to join Eustace.”
Yes, that’s pretty much how the story begins. Aslan also blew Eustace to Narnia first, kind of important to note, but back to the signs. Sobered and fascinated by them, I thought surely if I’d been entrusted with such a sacred task, I would have repeated them faithfully. But that darn Jill grew weary of her daily recitation and slowly forgot this vital guide for their perilous, all important journey.
I’ve often wondered about those signs and what they meant in the broader sense. As a Christian, C.S. Lewis incorporated spiritual symbolism into his work. Likely the signs have to do with the important Biblical teachings we’re not to forget, the Divine truths that guide us on life’s paths. I thought maybe saying my prayers everyday were my version of the signs. Like Jill, I also weary of those. Whatever they are, I have this sense I ought to remember… Aslan helped Jill out when she ‘fudged the signs.’ I trust God will nudge me in the right direction also.
And in the words of Aslan, the great lion himself, “Courage, dear heart.”
***Above Image from the original film version of the story, currently being remade and will, no doubt, be spectacular. And, of course, Aslan’s image.