Toward the end of the first book in C.S. Lewis’ Narnian chronicles, Polly questions Aslan about the future—will it hold a reality like that of the witch’s cruel and lightless kingdom? Alluding to the witch’s dying world,

Aslan answers her:
“Let the race of Adam and Eve take warning.” (In other words, “You better be careful or your world will end up like hers.” Still hopeful and perhaps unbelieving, Polly replies,)
“Yes, Aslan” “But we’re not quite as bad as that world, are we, Aslan?”
(Polly is waiting for sugar but the great lion gives her the vinegar of truth, )“Not yet, Daughter of Eve,” “Not yet, But you are growing more like it.”

At this point, a thoughtful reader might pause and think. “Was Lewis borrowing Aslan’s voice to warn us about our own world?” If he did, (and I do think this is the case), then Lewis was right. And if he didn’t, it was no matter because the lion knew what he was saying anyway.

Applied to us, the Lion’s words unveil the truth just as well as for Polly’s world. Like hers, our world isn’t dead, YET, though it seems we’re on our way. We have maps, provisions and wide, not narrow, roads that will carry us as surely to death as if we had engineered them that way. Oblivious, or perhaps not, we keep time with the drums of progress. “New is better, old is bad. We’re gonna die anyway, so why die sad?”

Yet as we look to the grass on the other side we keep moving but end up nowhere. Outside, we march, but within, we remain in the same desert of meaning. We push the frontiers of science, technology, and the headless god of progress, only to neglect the frontiers of soul. Given this, the poets and prophets have paused to wonder: “What are we making progress toward?”

Those same poets and prophets, Lewis among them, nevertheless point to the window in our otherwise dark world. “Not yet” doesn’t mean that ineluctably, the world will end in darkness. In fact, in Polly’s Narnian future, light flooded through the window to illuminate the things within. Our hope is to remember, as the Narnians did in subsequent chapters, that the world began with a song of light and warmth that issued forth from Aslan’s mouth.

Our world too began with a song, one long forgotten in our march for power and pleasure. We've become solitary notes that have dropped off the score, without the inner logic with which we were brought forth. If we were to ask, perhaps in prayer, “We’re not quite as bad as that world are we?” A voice, like that of Aslan’s seems to cry out to us, “Not if you remember that you are part of my symphony.”


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