My daughter and I have been reading through the Chronicles of Narnia together. We’re currently about two thirds of the way through “Prince Caspian.” She is captivated by the story, and truthfully, she doesn’t have to beg very hard for me to read more than we had planned. Of all the characters in the Chronicles, she loves Lucy the most.
**Spoiler Alert** Tonight we read part of the story where Lucy sees Aslan (the Lion, who is also the Christ-like figure of the story) and finds herself in a place where she’s the only one of her company that can see him. He speaks to her and tells her she must follow him even if the others won’t. Lucy goes back to her brothers and sister and tries to convince them that they should follow her. She’s the youngest, and it’s the middle of the night – so as you can imagine it’s a hard sell. But because Lucy was once the first to lead the kids into Narnia, they eventually go along with her, but mostly because they don’t want her to be alone. Lucy leads the crew through the night down a chasm, across a river, and back up the other side – all while keeping her eyes fixed on Aslan. Eventually all the others start to see him too and are convinced that Lucy has been right all along.
After reading this passage my daughter begged once again to read more. Reluctantly it was time for bed, but she excitedly told me “I wish I was in that situation some time, following Aslan through the dark forest.”
And that’s where I start leaking fluid from my eyes.
The fact is, there will be a day, probably many, when my little girl will have to walk through a treacherous season in her life, leading the way even when others don’t believe her or think she has any idea what she’s doing. And all she will be able to do is fix her eyes on Aslan, follow his lead, and start walking.
I think as parents our tendency is to want to insulate our kids and teach them to be safe at all costs. But following Aslan isn’t always safe. So I’d rather model for her what it means to walk after him, to trust him, and to courageously follow him. It doesn’t mean I won’t freak out someday when she tells me she wants to move across the country and plant a church. But I hope I will have the wisdom to get out of the way and cheer her on.
(As I was writing this, it all sounded somewhat familiar to me – sort of a “did I write this before?” type thought. Turns out, I kind of did. Back on my old blog here almost 5 years ago now.)
*Thanks to Tiffany Walder for the great photo from our trip to South Africa in 2007.