Lessons from Aslan on the Past and the Future, and How We Should Think About Them

Hello All! I had the pleasure of doing a blog post swap with my friend Breanne Eckman. She wrote about The Chronicles of Narnia and the biblical truths behind some of Aslan’s words. I highly recommend you explore Breanne’s lovely blog at https://writingflyingfree.wordpress.com/

“But what would have been the good?”

Aslan said nothing.

“You mean,” said Lucy rather faintly, “that it would have turned out all right – 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.”

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

When C.S. Lewis penned these words, he was not only on to something, he was drawing straight from the Bible. C.S. Lewis does that quite often throughout his Chronicles of Narnia books, with layers of truth and theology in his books written for 10-year-olds. So many regards those books as children’s literature, when it is so much more. But I shan’t start ranting about a disregard for literature. Let’s unpack what C.S. Lewis was trying to say here, and how it is relevant for us. 

‘Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ‘

Philippians 3:13-14

This is the verse that holds the theme that I believe C.S. Lewis was referring to. There are two parts to this call from Christ. 

Forgetting the Past

As humans, we are experts at reminiscing the past. We think over what has been done to us, what we have done, and what we could have done differently. We wish we controlled time so that we could change all the times it went horribly. We rehash bitter memories and replay the scenes again and again, over and over in our minds. We regret. We regret how we have failed people and we regret and fume over how others have failed us. We give in to a destructive cycle of self-pity. 

God calls us to forget the past. Not all of it. He commands us to remember His great works in our lives. 

‘And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. ‘

Deuteronomy 8:2

We are also to tell the future generations of His past works:

‘We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord , and his might, and the wonders that he has done. ‘

Psalm 78:4

God isn’t commanding us to forget everything that happened to us, He is commanding us to continually and deliberately forget past mistakes and past wrongdoings, whoever they may be committed by. Once we have asked for forgiveness for our sin, God tells us that He forgets our sin (Hebrews 10:17). Why should we remember something that God has chosen to forget? 

We are also to trust God for justice on those who have wronged us. Rehashing scenes won’t change our circumstances. It only makes us feel more anger and self-pity. Trust God with those things, and move on.

Pressing Toward the Future

All over the Bible, we find the metaphor of running a race. In Philippians 3:14, Paul calls us to press forward toward the prize which is the “upward call of God in Christ Jesus”. In 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 Paul talks about how we run to receive an imperishable wealth. 

We are called to “lay aside every weight” (Hebrews 12:1-3). The weight of past sins, shame, and regret. The weight of hurt and betrayal and loneliness. The weight of self-pity. All of it needs to be laid aside. 

So we run with endurance, and keep our eyes on our Savior. We remember how he endured hardship and suffering for “the joy that was set before Him”. Our Savior kept His gaze on the future glory. As Christians, we follow in the footsteps of Christ. He has received the name above every name. He is sitting at the right hand of God. He has received glory. So we also press on and keep our eyes on the prize. The prize of future glory. The prize of eternal joy and freedom. The prize of eternal life in God’s presence.

Run dear one, run, and don’t look back.

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