Sunday, December 19, 2010

lessons from edmund pevensie.

I wish I could count the number of people I know who grew up having The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis read out loud to them as children. Obviously, a lot of people I know are confused by this. But for another set of people I know, it's a taken-for-granted part of life.

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.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

blog got a major revamp.

This is what happens when I have free time. Finals are finally finished, and I am back in the 39206...for now, at least. There are lots of boxes to pack, lots of places to go, and lots of people to see. I'm not going to lie. It's going to be a long haul physically and emotionally these next couple of weeks. But that doesn't mean it can't be a good couple of weeks.

Somewhere in the midst of the craziness I am going to find time to enjoy the little things. To read, to bake cookies, to hang out with friends, to do completely pointless yet time-consuming things like redesign the blog. And it's going to be great, because it's Christmas, and no matter what is going on in your life, Christmas is always great if you focus on the important things.

If you too are hanging around the 39206 a.k.a. greater Jackson area, come stop by and help us pack a box or two and enjoy some togetherness before we head out. Give me a couple of days and some of these will be waiting for you. :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

friends > finals.

During finals week, everything seems like a good idea, because everything is better than studying. I absolutely love the ridiculous ideas my friends and I come up with. Last year, we agreed/made a bet to get blogs. This year we've been discussing our many plans for our Christmas break and random plans for our futures i.e. how to stay connected when we're married with kids and living who knows where in the country. As the studying becomes more and more frustrating, the conversation gets even better and the plans get even crazier. The frightening thing about this year is that we've already discussed some really outrageous, spontaneous things, and it's only Monday.

Obviously, my friends are a bright light in the midst of finals darkness. If I'm going to be overwhelmed with truth tables and court cases, it's nice to have other people be equally as overwhelmed at the same time. Simply having so many amazing people to constantly keep me smiling is just about the greatest thing I could ever ask for. Of course, the studying is really the least of the things we've been encouraging each other through lately. Just looking back on this weekend is proof that we've all, collectively, had a really intense semester where we've grown in so many ways. One Sunday morning at the Orchard at the beginning of the year, Pat said that "friendship is a celebration of inefficiency;" this has been beyond true all semester, and it's true again right now.

Efficiency, this week at least, would mean refusing to get sucked in to the distractions and the randomness. It would mean saying no to study breaks and snack breaks and exercise breaks and all those other breaks that seem essential right about now. Inefficiency, however, means agreeing to the breaks, and being spontaneous. It means stopping to have a long conversation in the hallway or at the dinner table even though it's seriously cutting in to the study time. It means enjoying this week a heck of a lot more than you would if you're merely trying to be efficient.

So here's to inefficiency, and here's to finals. What seems so bad can really be so good - having the right people with you is what makes all the difference.
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