“It isn’t Narnia, you know”

“No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t do it myself. Then he came towards me. It sort of hurt, but… it was a good pain. You know, like when you pull a thorn from your foot.” – Eustace (Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

          For as long as I can remember, The Chronicles of Narnia have always been my favourite books and movies. There have been others that I’ve enjoyed immensely, but nothing has ever stuck with my quite like Narnia. C.S. Lewis is a brilliant writer and has a way with words that I could only dream of having. I have favourite lines from each of the books, but this one from the newer movies is quite possible my absolute favourite of all time. It’s right after Aslan changes Eustace (the Pevensies cousin) back into a boy from a dragon. Lucy (The Valiant, and youngest daughter of Eve) is asking him what it felt like, and the above quote is his response.

Up until this point Eustace is an annoying, self entitled, know it all, brat who thinks he is too good to be on the Dawn Treader with this lot, and doesn’t believe in Aslan. While the crew is setting up camp, Eustace goes off on his own, discovering a cave of treasure. The greed gets the better of him and turns him into a dragon. The symbolism of Eustace being turned into a dragon is great in and of itself. Throughout time dragons have been the image of greed and hoarding, so it comes as no surprise that Lewis chose to use a dragon to convey his point. However the language in which Eustace describes his first encounter with Lewis is bone chilling and such a true representation of our walk with Christ.

If we are truly honest with ourselves for once, we will admit that we are a) not perfect b) constant sinners and c) perpetually in need of Gods grace over our lives. No matter how hard we try, or what we like to think, we cannot be better people by our own accords. It’s simply not possible. We can try, and try, and try, but no matter how hard we try, we will fail. We are imperfect creatures, living in an imperfect world, serving a perfect God. Of course we can’t do it on our own. However, when we allow Him to draw near to us we see His power and His strength is enough to overpower anything we’ve brought on ourselves. Just as Eustace couldn’t get the bracelet off himself in order to become a boy again, we cannot undo the sin we’ve done to make us better people. We have to allow God to draw near to us, and lift us out of our sin. When we do that, it’s going to hurt. Nowhere in the Bible does God tell us that following Him, allowing Him to make us better people, would be an easy and pain free task. But He did promise that it would be worth it. That the pain we felt would be temporary and not permanent.

Just as Aslan didn’t come for Lucy, Edmund, and Prince Caspian in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Christ didn’t come to help those who already believed in Him (although just like Aslan, Christ does help those). Christ came to help those who didn’t know Him, who needed Him, those who were looked down upon and cast aside by society. Eustace didn’t know Aslan and didn’t believe in Him that is who Aslan came to help. Those who don’t know Christ and don’t believe in Christ, that is why He came. That is why He is always here with us, guiding us, so that through us, His name might be made known.

 

-S

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Tomorrow Starts the Rest of Your Life… A Few Weeks Late

So let’s start from the very beginning:

Graduation came and went on the weekend of May 11th. The Friday night before my graduation, I went to the Divinity School graduation to see some friend graduate. Tyler graduated which was probably the saddest thing of all. He has been a dear friend during my time at Campbell and it seems weird to think of this place without him next year. I’m excited for where life is taking him, but I am sad to see him go. Thankfully, his girlfriend is still in school, so he’ll still be around a bit. My summer roommate, Catherine, also graduated that Friday night which was incredibly exciting. She is still working on campus, but is looking for a legitimate job somewhere in Raleigh starting in the fall. Living with Catherine has been vastly different than living with Kendele and Brooke, but not bad.

I moved into my new townhouse, and started working at the Pharmacy School the week after graduation and it was a complete and total whirlwind. Thankfully I was able to crash with my friend Jessica for a few days before I moved into the townhouse so I wasn’t entirely homeless.

I’ll start working at Benson Baptist soon, provided their deacons approve to take it to the congregation for a vote. It’s been a slow process, but I am so excited for the prospect of working with the youth at the church. I’ve met them once, but they are absolutely wonderful kids and have massive personalities so it’ll be a lot of fun.

I can’t believe I’ve been graduated from college for a month, to the day (in an hour or so). It is completely mind boggling to me. I am so thankful for how the entire last month has panned out. I’ve also been painfully conscious of how I haven’t done anything remotely related to my relationship with Christ. I am the epitome of “if everything’s good, why talk to him” and I hate that about me. I want to fix it, I’m going to fix it. Starting tonight as soon as I click “publish” it’s on to my Beth Moore book.

So yeah, a brief wrap up of life as a college graduate so far. It’s been amazing, everyday I’m reminded of how much God loves me and how much he has given me. Even if I wanted to complain, I really couldn’t because it would be absolutely insane of me. I love my life, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

-S

Grace, Only Grace. Can Move Us to a Rhythm that will Change Our Ways

There’s a show I watch called Skins. It’s a British tv show, that to be completely honest is the trashiest thing I’ve ever watched. But I love the character dynamics and how messed up they are. I know that sounds rather twisted, but if I could just sit down and have a conversation with these characters, I feel like I would understand why they do the things they do. Either way. Without giving too much away, in the current season there is a girl named Grace who dies tragically in a car accident while the “mates” are all on “holiday” in Morocco (using the British terminology for “friends” and “vacation” of course). What I find beautiful in the midst of these college kids trying to cope with the death of their friend, they remember her at such opportune moments. Whenever they need her, they feel her presence. Grace, is always there. Grace, never leaves them. In life and death, Grace loved them unconditionally, without judgement, and with haste. No matter what crazy stunt her friends pulled, Grace was there for them. No matter how tripped out, twisted, or trashed her friends got, she was there for them. Without judgement, to love them with all of her heart.

Sound familiar to anyone? Sound like someone you know? The love and grace of Christ is always with us.Whenever we need Him, whether we know it or not, He is always there. To love us unconditionally, to love us with haste, to give us the grace we don’t deserve. Grace’s friends didn’t deserve her friendship. Comparatively, she was a saint and they were miscreants. But she saw the good in them, she brought out the good in them. Much like we don’t deserve the grace of Christ, but He gives it freely anyways, because He sees the good in us. He created the good in us. He brings out the good in us.

The title of this is from a Tenth Avenue North song that is beautiful, and talks about the grace of Christ. Have a listen. And remember, to always look for Christ, even when you think he’s not there. That’s when you’ll find Him the most.

-S