Friday, February 26, 2010

How to Be Un-Dragoned

CS Lewis in his Chronicles of Narnia, Volume 6, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (pp106-110) tells of one of the adventures of a stubborn, rather unhappy child named Eustace. By the way, this is more of my own paraphrase than directly quoting the book:

Eustace is tired of taking orders from the other children and sneaks off to get away and have his own adventure.

Along the way, Eustace sees a dying dragon go into its cave, and he follows it to get out of the rain. Once he sees the dragon die, he looks around and discovers all this treasure. Thinking if he had treasure the other children would listen to him and follow his orders, he packs his pockets and then falls asleep.

When he awakens, he senses movement and looks to his right and sees a dragon hand. Filled with fear that the dragon must not have really died, he runs out of cave, he runs and runs until he comes to a lake. Quite thirsty from running, he dips face to the water to drink, but as he looks at the water he sees the reflection of a dragon. Suddenly the horror hits him...With dragonish thoughts in his heart he had become a dragon!

Eustace then becomes quite sorry for the "monster" he had been to his cousins. Thankfully, the other children eventually find him and try to help him, but nothing can change him back into a boy. He was so miserable that he actually became nice. He helped the other children, but was still very sad.

One night, he saw a great lion walking toward him. Even as a dragon, Eustace said he was more afraid than he had ever been in his life. He followed the Great Lion to a great well. The Lion told him to undress and go down into thewater. But then it occurred to Eustace that he was a dragon; he couldn't undress. But perhaps he could shed his skin. He started scratching himself and the scales began to fall off. Eventually the entire dragon skin came off and it looked really ugly just sitting there.

Eustace began to walk down the steps into the water when he realized his skin was still scaly. He wasn't too upset, he just thought he had another skin under his first skin that needed to be pealed off as well. So he scratched and tore and this skin came off. He started to the water again, but again realized there was just more dragon skin underneath.

Finally, Aslan spoke. You will have to let Me undress you. Eustace was afraid of His claws, but he was desparate now, and willing to have the Lion do anything to save him. 'The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made it bearable was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off.'

When he was finished, there was my skin lying on the grass, only very much thikcer, darker and uglier than when I had taken it off myself. Then the Lion threw me into the water, and I became a boy again.

What a picture of the Gospel...because of the Fall, we all wrestle with dragon-ish hearts, thoughts, behaviors, attitudes...and no matter how hard we try, we can't un-dragon ourselves. Our only hope is running to Christ daily so He will remove all that is dragon-like within us...and turn us more and more into the glory of His image day by day.


Linda said...

I loved that story so very much when I read it years ago; loved your paraphrase too. Thanks. I've been copying your last 4-5 posts and emailing them to my daughters.

Anonymous said...

Probably my most often used analogy as to what is required for the destruction of our idols.
Love you bro.