At (almost) twenty-one years old, these books keep me coming back again and again and again. They're children's stories, but, if you give them a chance, they are so significant. Some of the Christian symbolism that Lewis works in is obvious; other themes are much more subtle. Either way, it's there, and it always makes me stop and think. In light of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie currently in theaters, I started flipping back through the book. I've read the entire series through several times, but it's been a while since I've read this one. One scene in particular gets me every time...
Edmund and his horrible cousin Eustace end up in Narnia, and before long Eustace undergoes a sort of transformation to change him from bad to good. Immediately after the transformation, Edmund and Eustace talk about what happened, and Edmund helps Eustace understand his experience and understand Aslan.
"It's all right," said Edmund. "Between ourselves, you haven't been as bad as I was on my first trip to Narnia. You were only an ass, but I was a traitor."
"Well, don't tell me about it, then," said Eustace. "But who is Aslan? Do you know him?"
"Well - he knows me..." said Edmund. "He is the great Lion, the son of the Emperor-beyond-the-Sea, who saved me and saved Narnia."
For me, two thoughts immediately come out of this. #1. Edmund Pevensie never forgets where he came from. The change he undergoes much earlier in the story shapes the way he responds to others and the way he goes about life. #2. "Well - he knows me..." What a way to put it. God knows us, knows everything about us, inside and out. And, while we do know things about Him, it takes a lifetime to know Him more, and we will never truly understand Him for all that He is until one day we are with Him for eternity. Something about this makes me want to try all I can to learn more and more about Him, and do it quickly.
Seriously, I love this stuff. I could think about it for days. They're good stories that are worth reading anyway, but even more worth it because of what (or who) they point me towards. Not everyone is into "stories" as much as me, and I get that. But I still think you should give Narnia a try, and see what you find. Maybe you read it years ago, but pick it up again. When you inevitably discover brilliant things, call me up. We can be nerdy and talk about it together.