Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Baby, it's cold out there

Snow is always beautiful…from the indoors.

I have a hard time with the cold.

For me, snow is a reminder.

The clean white snow reminds me of purity.

Also, during the coldest months, the living things hibernate, become dormant, or even die.
So snow also reminds me of purifying, the purifying fire, or refiners fire, if you will.

Once the winter is over, new life covers the land.

Winter is a purifying time for the world.

There has to be death for there to be new life.

When it is cold, I can shiver, complain, and be cold.

Or I can hope, I can hope that the Lord will make all things new again.

Winter is a reminder of our life on earth.

We all have to die in order to be reborn.

In C. S. Lewis’s story, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, the children discover a world in perpetual winter.  It is always winter, and never Christmas, always death but never new life.  It is a world without Aslan, symbolically, a world without God.  The children bring hope to the land, Aslan begins to move, and then, the spring returns.

Narnia is a tale of a magical land with magical creatures that cannot be seen by everyone.  It defies logic.  And the logical among them, are the first unbelievers.

But the story leads us to something a little more real than human logic.

We cannot see God.  We cannot see Heaven.  We cannot see, hear, taste, smell, or touch life after death.  Logically then, it must not exist.

Yet, there is something more powerful than logic.  Belief.  I believe in God, the Father, the Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth…

Belief in things unseen is not a fruit of contemplative logic.  It is the result of a leap of faith.  It is an illogical leap that requires a pair of wings.

Unfortunately, belief is something we can easily lose as we grow into adults.  Our society operates under the pretense of logic.  In the culture, there is no place for the impossible.
Our imagination is a very powerful tool.  Remember your imagination.  It is also important to cultivate imagination in your children.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with reading fairy tales to your kids or playing games with them in imaginary worlds where anything is possible.  The children in our world are not going to learn imagination in school.

G.K. Chesterton once wrote that “Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

How can we grow up to believe in a God we cannot see if we have no imagination?  How can we believe in the impossible, or in life after death, if we spend our whole lives thinking logically?
“I am [in your world].’ said Aslan. ‘But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

“But, first, remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

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