Moving to Narnia
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” - Revelation 21:3-4
After signing our lease on our new apartment, my Turkish roommate and I brainstormed names for our new apartment that would reflect our cultures. I suggested Narnia, and it stuck. Beyond Edmund’s (understandable) obsession with Turkish Delight, “aslan” means “lion” in Turkish.
It seems natural that the last book in Lewis’ series is on my mind as I finish my first month living in Fayetteville-Narnia. The first time I read “The Last Battle,” I hated it. Everything I knew about life in Narnia was ending. Despondent, there was nothing to do while Narnia crumbled.
I felt the same despair my final semester of college. My friends were scattering. Strangers signed up to live in our rooms this fall. Central Arkansas would no longer be home.
Such transitions really characterize the young adult experience. Starting a new job with little work experience. Navigating a new town. Marriage. Parenthood. I watch my friends’ lives unfold from a distance as the comfortable collegiate world I built crashes.
Yet even as the familiar gives way to the new, God is there. As the lost Narnians struggled with the death of their world, Aslan joyfully invited them into his. They realized that while his world was similar to Narnia, it was far better. One concluded:
"…that was not the real Narnia. That had a beginning and an end. It was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia which has always been here and always will be here…You need not mourn over Narnia, Lucy. All of the old Narnia that mattered, all the dear creatures, have been drawn into the real Narnia through the Door. And of course it is different; as different as a real thing is from a shadow or as waking life is from a dream.”
Then, in my favorite moment, the unicorn:
“stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground… and then cried: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!
While trying to navigate home one recent night, I thought about Narnia. My windows were down, letting warm air and the scent of summer flowers fill my car. I was happy, even in the hectic loneliness of transition. I remembered that beyond all of my favorite things – summer drives, friends’ laughs, my godson’s smile, family meals– is Heaven, where every good thing with which I’ve been blessed exists in its most beautiful form.
The passing of the old way of life often ushers in new, more amazing things. Sometimes the path is confusing or hard to see. Sometimes it feels like it’s falling apart. Yet God gives change significance, and remembering God’s presence in all these changes makes the young adult experience worth it.
Discussion questions: What transitions have you faced lately? How did God remind you of His presence?
See more devotions from Sarah and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.