Josh Irby

Live from Sarajevo

I’ll follow you into the dark

If you want to do something great/big/important with your life, you will probably spend a lot of time walking in the dark. By that, I mean, walking straight into the unknown. If you could do great things strolling along clearly-lit paths, than everyone would do them. It seems to me that great accomplishments lie on the other side of the darkness.

I have been reading C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian to my 3-year-old son Elijah. If you have read any of the Chronicles of Narnia books or seen the movie, than you know that the plot revolves around four young British children—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy—who are swept away into a the magical world of Narnia.

In Prince Caspian, they return for a second time to Narnia, but a thousand years have passed. They were called back to help Prince Caspian defeat the evil king who is currently ruling the land. In one scene, the children are fighting through a thick wood trying to find their way through a land that has drastically changed since they knew it last. They find themselves hopeless lost. It is at this moment that Lucy—the youngest of the children—sees Aslan. Aslan is the hero of the Narina series, a huge lion who is the King of all Narnia. Lucy tries to convince the others that they should go in the direction where she saw Aslan, but no one will follow. They end up wasting a day going the other direction.

Then, after all the others have fallen asleep, Lucy sees Aslan again.

“Welcome child,” he said.

“Aslan,” said Lucy, “your bigger.”

“That is because you are older little one,”answered he.”

“Not because you are?”

“I am not, but every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”

For a time she was so happy that she did not want to speak, but Aslan spoke.

“Lucy,” he said, “we must not lie here for long. We have work at hand and much time has been lost today.”

“Yes, wasn’t it a shame,” said Lucy. “I saw you alright. They wouldn’t believe me. They are all so—”

From somewhere deep inside Aslan’s body, there came the faintest suggestion of a growl.

“I’m sorry,” said Lucy, who understood some of his moods. “I didn’t mean to start slanging the others, but it wasn’t my fault anyway, was it?”

The Lion looked straight into her eyes.

“Oh Aslan,” said Lucy, “you don’t mean it was? How could I—I couldn’t have left the others and come up to you alone. How could I? Don’t look at me like that . . . Oh well, I suppose I could. Yes, and it wouldn’t have been alone, I know. Not if I was with you. But what would have been the good.”

Aslan said nothing.

“You mean,” said Lucy rather faintly, “that it would have turned out alright somehow? But how? Please Aslan, am I not to know.”

“To know what would have happened, child,” said Aslan. “No, nobody is ever told that.”

“Oh dear,” said Lucy.

“But anyone can find out what will happen,” said Aslan. “If you go back to the others now and wake them up and tell them you have seen me again and that you must all get up at once and follow me—what will happen? There is only one way of finding out.”

“You mean that is what you want me to do?” gasped Lucy.

“Yes, little one,” said Aslan.

“Will the others see you too?” asked Lucy.

“Certainly not at first,” said Aslan. “Later on it depends.”

“But they won’t believe me,” said Lucy.

“It doesn’t matter,” said Aslan.

If we want to do great/important/big things, we need to get used to walking into the dark.

About Josh