Lessons Learned in Narnia


 “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”     C.S. Lewis, Voyage of the Dawn Treader pg. 1

Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Philippians 2:3 (Net Bible)

If you, like me, have fallen in love with C. S. Lewis’ world of Narnia then you may be quite familiar with Eustace, one of the main characters inThe Voyage of the Dawn Treader.   Though you may remember him well, you may not think quite so well of him.  He does begin as most definitely “a thorn in the flesh” for our friends, Queen Lucy and King Edmond, not to mention every other crew member of that Narnia Ship.  However, it would do us well, when thinking of Eustace to at least have the mindset of Reepicheep when he said, “The creature is no friend of mine but he is of the Queen’s blood…”   We should also remember that by the end of the book Eustace was considered not just a friend but a dear one.

 First lesson learned from the life of Eustace: Though a person be no friend of mine, as a fellow human being, they have the image of The Creator stamped upon them. That is not only worth remembering, it demands that I give them respect, count them valuable, and view them as having incredible potential.  I would do well to remember this, even when the person I am considering to be no friend of mine, is me.

Second lesson learned from the life of Eustace:  No matter how successful your ministry may be or how many friends you have proclaiming your spiritual giftedness, many kindnesses or good deeds… BEWARE:  a little bit of Eustace in us, can go a long, long way.

While reading this book under further scrutiny of THE LION, I was brought up short as I realized how many times my circumstances became an excuse to compare myself with others and not view them or my circumstances in the light of truth. I became a victim of those circumstances.  In all honesty, from the moment he arrived in Narnia, poor Eustace saw himself as the victim. 

Third lesson learned from the life of Eustace: One needs to examine their motives and thought processes more carefully when under duress lest they end up convin

cing themselves that they are justified and kind when in fact they are being selfish and in the end, trying on the patience of others.

Fourth lesson learned from the life of Eustace: Eustace thought by way of birth right that he did not deserve pain or any treatment other than the best and highest by everyone he met. Having value or not has nothing to do with why we have pain. To think otherwise is be deceived.

Fifth lesson learned from the life of Eustace:  Be thankful for the word "almost.

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

Psalm 73:2-3; 26-28 (Net Bible)  But as for me, my feet almost slipped; my feet almost slid out from under me. For I envied those who are proud, as I observed the prosperity of the wicked. . . 

. . . Whom do I have in heaven but You? I desire no one but You on earth.  My flesh and my heart may grow weak, but God always protects my heart and gives me stability. Yes, look! Those far from You die;
You destroy everyone who is unfaithful to You. But as for me, God’s presence is all I need. I have made the sovereign Lordmy shelter, as I declare all the things You have done.

(Pictures are from the movie, Voyage of the Dawn Treader © 2010 Twentieth Century Fox Fim Corporation and Walden Media LLC. All rights reserved.) 

Suzi Ciliberti works for Christar, a Missions Agency that plants churches among least-reached Asians worldwide. She served in Japan for two years as a single missionary and another nine with her husband and two children, then the family returned to the states. She and her husband have been serving in the US Mobilization Center since 2000. As a part of the Member Care Department, Suzi is consultant to families with children. She has been working as a children’s teacher since she was 17 and began her training under Child Evangelism Fellowship. She has taught in the church, as a school teacher for two years in a Christian elementary school, and as a speaker for adults training to work with children. She has also trained children, who are a part of families that work overseas, in their identity in Christ. She brings 44 years of teaching experience to her work. She loves creative writing as well as teaching and has found great fulfillment in combining the two as she blogs for Heartprints. She finds it a great privilege and joy to serve the Lord and His people. One of her favorite verses is Deuteronomy 4:10b, "Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."