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Peace, Beaver

I’m reading C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Well, to be honest, I’m re-reading it at night before bed. I like good stories. It’s a good story. As with all good stories, different parts stand out every time I read it.

This time, as I worked through The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, something new stood out to me. (If you’ve never read the book, go get it and read it. Come back later.) (No, not the movie. Read the book. Yes, Liam Neeson made for a great Aslan. Better than I expected. Read the book.)

If you’ve read the book, you know what’s going on. The White Witch holds the land of Narnia under an evil spell. It’s always winter…but never Christmas. That’s a terrible thing. She rules the land in an oppressive manner, though Lewis is not too specific in her oppressions. The main thing is, speaking against the Witch is punishable by being turned into stone—and fear of her has many Narnians helping her out.

Meanwhile, four children get into Narnia through a wardrobe and meet up with a beaver family. Well, actually, the Beaver family, made up of Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. The Beavers take the children to Aslan, the rightful king. While there, the Witch shows up and makes demands based on her claim to be the queen. Not because she’s got a relationship at all with the king, but just because.

During the interaction between Aslan and the Witch, there are several times that Mr. Beaver starts fussing back at her. He tries to correct her lies and rebuke her evil. Here’s the problem: he’s not a particularly big fellow. He’s a beaver. If you want a tree down, he’s the guy. If you want fresh fish from the frozen lake, he’s the guy. Fighting with the Witch? He’s not up to that.

Aslan knows it. Despite the fact that every thing Mr. Beaver says is right, each time Aslan settles him down with a gentle rebuke: “Peace, Beaver…” and then Aslan goes on to address the need of the moment. He does so with grace and wisdom and justice.

Now, if you have read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, you understand that it’s a story of Jesus. As such, I think there are lessons here for any of us Christians.

Naturally, we all want to be the heroes of the story—Peter, Lucy, Susan, Edmond. Or, at the very least, someone majestic like a Centaur or other warrior. But I’ve realized who I am very often.

I’m Mr. Beaver.

I can talk a big game, and I’m good with chopping down trees, but real effectiveness? I’m more likely to be standing over at the side, muttering about how things happened rather than doing anything useful. And thinking that my advice is really necessary for the King of Kings on how to run His kingdom.

And into that, I hear the Lord say, “Peace, Beaver.” Well, perhaps I hear more clearly “Cease striving and know that I am God;” (Psalm 46:10) “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

In other words, my place is at His side and doing whatever task he puts before me. Maybe, like Mr. Beaver, it’s to guide a few to Him. It may be that my place is to do other things. But ultimately, the results of following His plan fall on Him. Not me.

So, this week as I try to argue with whomever I can, and try to stir up a reminder that I’m right, I know I’m right, and I just want everyone else to be aware of that, I’m reminded of two little words that might settle me down:

“Peace, Beaver.”

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