Back-Packing #3

DSC_9758Third item to show you in my survival pack for life is my flashlight.

It sheds light on everything and allows me safe passage even in the darkest night.  When my narrow trail is filled with rocks that threaten to trip me or send me headlong into a crevasse, it slices through the blackness and lights my way.

When I can’t see Him, my Companion treading so quietly beside me, it throws light into His Glorious Face and I am strengthened once again, reminded of His Ever Presence and All Knowing Mind.

In C.S. Lewis’s life-shaping children’s book,  The Horse and His Boy, there is a passage that dissolves me into tears every time I read it.  When reading it out loud with my children, I would have to stop and collect myself, never able to make it all the way through before feeling buried under the weight of the truth.

It is the part where Shasta, the boy,  is struggling on in the night trying to make his way to Narnia, and he is terrified because he is sensing some unseen thing walking beside himself and the horse he was riding.  When he finally gathers courage to choke out the words “Who are you?” the Thing responds in a voice that was “not loud,  but very large and deep: ‘Someone who has waited long for you to speak.'”

Shasta then begins to realize there is an enormous Lion walking next to him, breathing on his hand.  Once the initial horror subsides, the Lion says gently, “Tell me your sorrows.”  With great relief,  Shasta begins to pour out his heart to this huge creature, this Lion: this Aslan he had only heard tales of, but was now walking beside him,

With tears streaming down his face, Shasta has then what I would call a ‘major pity party,’ recalling all of the events that made him a poor, “unfortunate boy,” The Lion responds, explaining to the boy, that He had been behind all of the events, the comforting ones and the terrifying ones, that had directed Shasta to that point, and it had all been intended for his welfare, helping direct him to Narnia.

Thanks to my friend Mr. Lewis,  the verse in God’s Word, where Paul tells me that “all things work together for good,” takes on such new power I am able to see things almost in High Definition.

I now can point  my flashlight towards the path my mother has trod (ahead of me) and see the hand of God.  The fact that He was walking beside my mother, using circumstances and her conscience to guide her is the real-life tale that shapes my life.  It is Romans 8:28 put on the stage of real life for all of us to see.  (See Blog entitled: Back-Packing #1)

God’s Word is the  powerful light that sheds its rays on my path; it keeps me safe when the way becomes misty with the smoke and haze of current lies and deceptions.  My way becomes enlightened and that, my fellow traveler,  gives me peace.

The Flashlight not only casts it light around me, but it is becoming indispensable in my ‘growing up’  children’s lives; they  are learning to rely on it to light their own journeys. It will be what I leave behind, stashed in my back pack for my grandchildren’s children when I am welcomed into the true Narnia, where all is Light.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.   Romans 8:28 NAS

Back-Packing #2

DSC_9751.JPGI am terribly excited to show you more of what is in my back-pack for life.  (Scroll back to the last blog for item #1.)

The next item, (#2) I would pull from my pack,  would be my field glasses.

They are not like any ordinary binoculars for with them, I can look at my unseen thoughts, my very small sins (microscopic, I’m sure), and have a better view of my trail map.  I can see my fellow travelers in a clearer light,  and I can use them as a high-powered telescope: looking  into eternity, both past and future. They also serve as night vision lenses, giving me courage when my way is dimmed,  and they even allow me see the brilliance of the God of the Universe with such added clarity, it makes me sing for joy.

They are really quite spectacular and my life has been changed for the better because of them.

What are they?

The writings of C.S. Lewis.

Volumes have been written discussing  the life, letters, and books of this extraordinary, ordinary man: this atheist who dropped the “a” to become a theist.   I would only detract from all the great writers who have analyzed, categorized, criticized,  and highly prized this man’s gift for taking difficult topics and making them understandable.  Yes, his vast knowledge and use of the English language can make me feel just plain old stupid,  and I have to read and re-read a lot of it, one line at a time; I don’t think he would have had much patience with me if I was his student at Cambridge,  but I try to understand what I can and his writing has revolutionized how I look at life.

Life has been gradually blurring lately, so I finally made an appointment to get my eyes checked.  Sitting in the exam chair yesterday, I tried to decide whether I preferred lens number 1, or number 2.  Lens number 2, or lens number 3.  Lens number 3,  or lens number 1.  Lens number 2, or lens number 4…

I sat with my face tight against the googly eye machine and I was starting to sweat.   I felt as though my future was being determined by choosing the right lens,  and if I said lens number 4 when  I really meant lens number 1,  I would be doomed paying a lot of money for the wrong prescription.

When the lens popped into place that suddenly sharpened my focus and I could read the smallest print at the bottom of the chart, I was ecstatic. All I want is a clearer view so I can absorb all the beauty, all the goodness, all the words, pictures and faces that surround me on my hike this side of eternity .  I also want to have sharp vision when watching for traps,  gopher holes and rough ground along this rugged way.

I would miss much of the above things, if I had not discovered the writings of Mr. Lewis.  Each word that flowed from his pen brings some part of this life into sharper focus just as a trusty pair of lenses do, and I am forever indebted and grateful  he walked the path before me.

If you don’t have these indispensable  field glasses, I suggest you purchase some today.

You’ll be surprised at what you’ve been missing.

P.S.   Just in case you’re curious,  the read that brought eternity into better focus for me is “The Great Divorce.”  The best ever “How to Avoid Pit-Falls of Temptation and Erroneous Thought” book (besides the Bible),  is actually entitled “Screwtape Letters”.  “The Chronicles of Narnia” series  make it easy for parents and children to see Aslan, the Lion representation of Jesus in a new light, and to love Him even more.   My recent discovery of “C.S. Lewis Doodle” on You Tube bring his writings to life in a pictorial way and makes for plenty of great discussion around the supper table.  Enjoy!