In an effort to mend by divorce from reading fiction over the past few years, I recently picked up a copy of The Chronicles of Narnia and started reading this childhood classic. Somehow, I missed out on reading these when I was a kid. I guess I was too into Nancy Drew and solving mysteries, so C.S. Lewis and his vivid characters are very fresh for me. And even though these tales are aimed at children, the truths found in the tale are so powerful for where I am in life, in a season where nothing seems to make sense. Here is one concept that really jumped out to me from the first book.
In The Magician's Nephew, the main character Diggory asks Aslan to heal his mother, who was terminally ill. Instead of doing so, Aslan sends Diggory on a journey to retrieve fruit from the tree of life. Diggory obeys, of course, but does so thinking that his request to Aslan was just going to be ignored. He thinks that Aslan said, "no" to the most important and pressing question on his mind.
But he obeys anyway.
He obeys even though he anticipates that the most important person in his life would be lost--due, in part, to his obedience to Aslan.
While he is on the journey, Jadis (a.k.a. the White Witch) pounces on his doubts and reveals that the fruit he retrieved could, in fact, heal his mother. But (after some internal debate) Diggory still takes the fruit back to Aslan, and he is able to plant the tree that protects Narnia from Jadis for many years.
Now here is where the story gets interesting. The tree immediately takes root, sprouts and produces fruit. And Aslan tells Diggory that he can take some of the fruit to his mother to save her.
I think C.S. Lewis is making a powerful observation about how God answers prayers and how He works in lives. When I ask for something, God is far more likely to give us a mission to complete. Maybe it's large, or maybe it's small, but it is all for the Kingdom. It is out of that mission that I find the answer or the solution or the wisdom that I wanted all along.
The answers I need are rarely handed to me on a silver platter, and they wouldn't do any good even if they were. It's through the experiences of life that I learn the most, and in turn, can share my story with others. The answer is in the journey. And I am okay with that.