Sunday, October 24, 2010

Finding Narnia

I named the last part of the trail where I regularly walk, "Narnia."  The woods close there, the trail dips and twists.  I can't see around the bends so even though I have been there hundreds of times, I wonder what is ahead.  A lot of times I don't get to Narnia, it depends on how much time I have.  If I go into Narnia it takes forty-five minutes instead of thirty-five.

But, I am always glad when I go there.

In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Lucy climbs into the wardrobe while she and her sister and brothers are exploring.  As she goes to the back through the hanging furs, there is no end.  She finds herself in snow and trees, in Narnia.  When she tries to convince her brothers and sister that there is a Narnia, she shows them the wardrobe.  But, that time there is a back.  There is no Narnia and they make fun of her.  Sometimes it is there and sometimes it isn't.  But, if Lucy hadn't explored and they hadn't gone back again, they never would have found the new world where they would be kings and queens.

It takes time to find your Narnia.  If I am in a hurry, I don't go there.  If Lucy hadn't had time to play and explore, she wouldn't have found the land of Narnia at the back of the wardrobe.  I wonder in our busy lives of getting things done if we have left time to be adventuresome.  I wonder if our children are too scheduled to have that extra time to explore and discover their Narnia.

A braveheart shows courage to try new things and go new places.  But, if there is no time to see what is behind doors, down trails, or in minds, when will he or she learn the thrill of adventure that draws bravehearts to new places and ideas? 

How about we set the example for our children?  Show them a life of adventure and wonder.  It takes time and effort, sometimes only ten minutes like my Narnia on the trail, but sometimes it takes our life.  Our example, even in little ways, inspires our children to understand that life is more than a schedule and is full of adventure worth pursuing.

Then, how about we make sure that we don't plan so tightly that life is only a checklist?  Let's give them places and times where they can explore new worlds, new ideas, and new directions. Maybe its as simple as taking time to make the kitchen table a tent or as complex as helping your college age student travel several weeks with a friend in Central America.  Maybe it is just asking questions with a sense of awe as we go to the dentist or on vacation.  Or, taking a wrong turn on purpose to see somewhere we haven't been before.

Visiting the zoo recently, I heard a boy of about eight or nine saying to his mom, "I just want to explore a little. Can't I explore some?"  I am not sure she should let him go at the zoo, what with lions, and tigers, and bears around.  But, his cry seemed deeper.  "Just let me go some."  We have to find places and ways to let them go so they can explore.

That way they develop a heart, a braveheart, for seeing what's around the next bend in life.  They will learn to overcome the fear of the unknown with the goosebumps of adventure.  Raised to explore, they will be brave when faced with fears and twists in life, looking for what God has ahead.

Let's help them find their Narnias.

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