I first fell in love with the land of Narnia as a little girl watching a cartoon version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The story of four ordinary children stumbling by accident into a magical land of talking animals and other mythical creatures come to life immediately captured my imagination. But it was when I found the entire series of books a few years later in our school library that I became a lifelong devotee.
There are seven books in this series by Christian author C.S. Lewis, all of which are related to each other yet can stand alone. Despite criticisms against them in recent years for their alleged "racist" and "sexist" undertones, these books stand as classics that are still loved the world over by both children and adults alike even today.
I've read all of the books in the series too many times to count and, even today, I continue to go back to these stories over and over again. One thing I've enjoyed about revisiting these books as a grown up is finding parallels to my Christian faith woven into the narrative. While C.S. Lewis denies that he created Narnia as an allegory of Christianity, he does not deny the existence of similarities, specially between Christ and Aslan, the Great Lion son of the Emperor-Over-the-Sea, guardian and savior of Narnia.
Reading the books as an adult, I have learned to appreciate the stories through the lenses of my experiences and see the instances where the fiction mirrors my life, more specifically my walk in faith.
In one of the books in the series, when Aslan tells some of the children it would be their last visit to Narnia, he explains that was because it was time that they got to know him and love him in their own world. Because he had met them and allowed them to know him in the fantastic world of Narnia, it would be easier for them to meet him and recognize him in their own world.
I have been given the privilege to meet God in very personal way many times in my life. Like the children of the Narnia saga, these encounters have seemingly been a product of coincidence, but with eyes of faith, I've realized that they were really brought about by His design.
But once I am back in the Real World, it becomes so easy to forget.
It's so hard to hear His voice in the noise and distraction of life. It's so hard to see how He is moving in my life when I'm so caught up in my own concerns. I praise Him that despite my stubborn insistence on straying, He constantly brings me back to Narnia, to remind me that He is the God of miracles, the God of love, and the God who keeps His promises.
That is the constant challenge He has for me - that I may persevere in the walk that He has called me to walk even during the times in my life when I can only vaguely remember the brief glimpse I had of Him. And it is my prayer that He will give me the grace to have that seeking heart, that I may be sensitive to feel Him moving in my life, recognize Him in my everyday, and love Him unabashedly - even when I am out of Narnia.