Monday, April 14, 2008

the horse and his boy

with what little downtime i had this weekend - from taking 21 kids on a field trip to the aquarium on saturday and then coming home to a bbq for 20 people from my niece's basketball team, plus attending a young women's basketball tournament....i was able to finish a couple more books in the narnia series.

i started with magician's nephew and i skipped the second book - the lion, the witch and the wardrobe - because i had just re-read it before the movie came out and also because i must have read that book 10 times at least and felt i could recite it if need be. so i picked up book 3 - the horse and his boy.

unlike magician's nephew i had no clear memory of this book. certain things came back to me, but overall it was like i was reading it for the first time. this was the 5th book written by c.s. lewis, but comes in 3rd chronologically.

a lot of the book seemed slow going and there is a huge trek through the desert that i think even lewis couldnt make all too entertaining, but the sub text of this book i really felt was great. just to preface a little, although not too much because you really should read it if you havent, there is a boy named shasta who grew up as basically a slave and circumstance introduces this boy to a talking horse from narnia - bree - and they begin a journey together. bree was a war horse and knew it and along the way he disappointed himself. he meets up with aslan - the god/jesus figure and this is what aslan tells him:
"you're not quite the great horse you had come to think, from living among the dumb horses. of course you were braver and cleverer than them. you could hardly help being that. it doesn't follow that you'll be anyone very special in narnia. but as long as you know you're nobody very special, you'll be a very decent sort of horse, on the whole, and taking one thing with another."

quite often i find in lewis' books is a reoccurring theme of humility and the importance of it. in - the screwtape letters - the protagonist wormwood writes his demon nephew advice in turning a christian away and he tells him "when he becomes humbled make him realize his humility and then you will turn him away from that which he strives to become" - that is a paraphrase by the way...not sure how to quote a paraphrase...probably shouldnt have put it in quotations. anyway back to the point. that passage from screwtape letters have really stuck with me through the years. i think it is just human nature to strive to be good, but at the same time seeking that approval from others and upholding some sort of goodness reputation, instead of seeking good and truth for its sake alone.

anyone who knows me...or shall i even say has met me...probably knows humility is not a strong point. it is something that i have always grappled with. i really felt for the horse bree and his struggle in being a big fish in a small pond and wrestling with the idea of meeting people better than him and in that having his ego/self-identity crushed. i feel as though it can be a life long journey to be comfortable in your own skin and i am constantly plagued with holding my image up to so many others instead of working with what i have. i feel this especially with being a mom. i compromise a lot because of how others might perceive me, my actions, my son's actions, instead of following my instinct.

okay - i didnt intend to digress that much away from this book, but as a quick sum-up - i enjoyed the book, but not as much the story line itself, but the underlying message is what really spoke to me.

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