Due to the recent film release of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I have found myself wandering through C.S. Lewis’ world of Narnia often in my daydreams. I have contemplated what picture, wardrobe, train, or otherwise, I might trip into Narnia and be enrapt to an adventure of epic proportions. The love for Lewis’ Narnia started deep in my heart as I was often the fanciful boy who loved secret worlds, rooms, and the likes. Narnia, Neverland, and other such imaginative places, were not only in the mind, they were worlds aside the world in which I live.
Simultaneously, I have been entrenched in thinking about the Kingdom of God as my church has been studying the Sermon on the Mount. This Kingdom is not a far cry from the “aside” world of Narnia. All that to say, I’ve been thinking how Narnia did not just occur alongside of the Pevensie children’s world, but how it shaped who they were. It impacted them greatly uncovering more of themselves than they ever knew.
In The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe, Aslan the Lion encounters the Pevensie children. When he crowns them as kings and queens of his domain, he bequeaths not only a crown, but a name. Peter the Magnificent, Susan the Gentle, Edmund the Just, and Lucy the Valiant. I have been thinking a lot about these names. Especially because one day, while I was in my office, Jesus told me that my office worker was valiant, just like Lucy. So I looked up valiant so that I might have a greater understanding of what it was. To be valiant is to possess or to act with courage, determination, perseverance, bravery, and heroism. As I told my office worker, I believed she was valiant, she was on the verge of tears. I could tell that it was speaking beyond her ears. Instead, the Lord was affirming something she knew deeper than her mind.
That day, I ended up texting a few of my friends and asking them what was after the “the” in their name. As people started to think very deeply and give me many variegated responses; I asked them what they wanted to be known for, what would be the defining characteristic of their life. I first heard them respond with incredible answers. But then I thought, hmm, maybe instead I should be declaring what their “the” was over them, since we need each other to show us who we are. I took the challenge and found words to describe these friends like: Humble, Passionate, Effervescent, Gracious, Listener, Loving, and even Lion-hearted.
Then something happened very strange, they began to ask me what did I want to be known for. A couple of them even gave me their ideas for me. I was overwhelmed by what was said, all of the things were both meaningful and deeply true. Things that I had hoped others would see. Beyond me. The Christ in me.
We know that in Scripture we see God forming and making people who they were even before they were born. There is a God potential that maybe we have not seen or recognize. I am going to keep asking others, “Who do you say that I am?” So that, I can continue to recognize what is after the “the” for my life.
Here’s what they said: Jason the Greatheart, the Validator, the Relator, the Free, the Majestic and the Defender. I was both overwhelmed and encouraged.