What I've been thinking and what I've been reading for you to compare notes.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Chronicles of N, Take Two

Would C. S. Lewis have ever imagined Disney making a movie of his Chronicles of Narnia - an imagineer organization profiteering off the offerings of Christian allegory by an earlier visionary? I pondered that yesterday as Deb and I went out to celebrate our anniversary a few days late via dinner and a movie.

Figured the sequel of the Narnian Chronicles of Lewis in flick form, "Prince Caspian," would be worthwhile, just didn't know if it would make a good anniversary date movie. It passed. Deb and I both enjoyed it and discussed it over dinner at O'Charley's.

Deb commented right away that she knew that I appreciated the action - there were several battle scenes - I guess that is what brought about the PG rating. But there was also the allegory.

I am not the world's best at interpreting allegory. I am actually way down on the scale. I generally don't like stories you have to work to understand. I don't like Shakespeare all that much for the same reason - just speak English. (Sorry my dear daughter Bethany - just teasing.)

Exhibit A: I used to be non-plussed about all the fuss over Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, one of the most published and praised Christian allegories in the history of books, while at the same time I was spellbound by several bios of "the tinker and thinker," John Bunyan.

Exhibit B: When I read the Chronicles of N to the children growing up I doubt I did a good job because of my lack of allegorical interpretation.

But put the Chronicles on the big screen and it's a different twist for me - which is hard for me to believe - because I am usually a firm believer in the old adage, "the book is always better than the movie."

What I liked and how I sifted Prince Caspian:

[NOTE: You may not want to read further if you haven't already seen this movie and plan to do so. may want to read it in order to make fun of me when you do view the movie because I may have gotten it all wrong. Either way, it's okay. I'm honestly content in my world of relative obscurity.]

The movie (based on the book) is about HOPE - even when the hour is dark and God seems to be distant. Peter, Edmond, Susan and Lucy Pevensie end up back in the fabled land of Narnia after centuries of the passage of time (in Narnia at least), but under dire conditions which require action. Peter decides to take action and it seems as if Aslan the lion, the deity character, is not interested in their plight. Lucy, the youngest of the siblings remains hopeful. Am I too "easy" to say I was inspired to greater hope about several perplexities in my own life by watching the movie? I am easily touched by themes of hope.

It's also about WAITING ON GOD and not taking matters into your own hands - which reverberates in my spirit because this has been the biggest hurdle in my life - waiting on God - actually, waiting on anyone and anything has been difficult for me.

You Type B readers (perhaps 2 out of the 5 people who read this blog - well, perhaps there are more readers from time to time, considering a guy showing a movie at the Cannes film festival recently emailed me to say that he had "Googled" the title to his movie and the first thing to come up was a blog entry of mine from a year ago) won't get this point, but if you live anywhere within a few blocks of Type A-ville you know how much we high-strung individuals like to have our finger on the pulse of what's happening - NOW!

Problem is, most of life involves waiting, which I am gradually mellowing out to realize as I enter the second half-century of my life.

I won't bore you with rehearsing the myriad of instances in which I have NOT waited on God and started off doing something because I felt it necessary to at least look like I was busy doing something. Besides, the list is too long and I would slouch into a fit of depression - and I'm not one prone to depression (perhaps because I seldom rehearse depressing scenarios).

I've learned that waiting on God produces better results - because God can ALWAYS do better than mortals can - at providing a need, solving a problem, etc. And I've learned that waiting draws me closer to God, which, it has occurred to me thousands of times now, is God's main aim. He doesn't want the successful completion of my pet projects - he wants me.

Actually it's good to be wanted by God. I can't fathom why He would want to spend time with us but He does. And a lot of the time we are busy with stuff He wants us to be focused on our friendship with Him.

The movie is probably about a lot of things...allegorical things to interpret...but I'll stop my musings with one more: CHILDLIKE FAITH. Lucy has it. She doesn't see how things can work out right - but she knows they will because she believes in Aslan and his love and power. As I said earlier, Aslan the lion is the deity character. God cares and wants us to exercise faith in Him. Not blind faith, but trust born of knowing God's nature and His track record.

When the movie climaxes with the river scene it wasn't just a Disney movie anymore. It was spiritual truth.


  • At Sunday, May 18, 2008 2:12:00 AM , Blogger RC said...

    i think it's fantastic how you went out of your comfort zone to try to think about the messages in this film.

    I appreciate your thoughts and am linking to your post in a post that I am writing. I think you will enjoy looking at the other links that I point to, as you will see a variety of ideas that other viewers of various backgrounds walked away with.

  • At Sunday, May 18, 2008 3:57:00 AM , Blogger Pastor Brian Atwood said...

    RC, Woke up to get a drink of water and thought about editing my blog. Saw your comment and enjoyed reading how others were impacted by the movie. Very interesting. Thanks for making contact.

  • At Tuesday, May 20, 2008 9:06:00 AM , Blogger Pastor Jeff Lawson said...

    It was an awesome movie, Brian. I really appreciated your insight. The waiting on God and knowing that He is there but not always visible is what stood with me. It is also a little bit frustrating that others can see Him at times when I am looking and for the life of me cannot locate Him.

  • At Tuesday, May 20, 2008 9:11:00 AM , Blogger Pastor Brian Atwood said...

    Jeff, wish I'd said that because that is exactly how I've felt lots of times before - the "frustrated that others can see Him at times when I am looking and for the life of me cannot locate Him" comment. There's a lot to be discussed on that.

  • At Tuesday, June 03, 2008 6:35:00 PM , Anonymous patrick said...

    too bad they cut out some of that part where Aslan confronts Lucy about trusting her convictions, but i guess they had to make it appealing to the masses... great observations on your review tho!


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