Aslan’s Country

As we straggled home at 8:45 pm, I think we all agreed that it was OK for our church’s Vacation Bible School program to be over. The kids had fun, but it has been difficult to snatch a bite to eat and rush off each evening — we’re really not used to having to meet a particular schedule, day after day. Joshua and I served the snacks each evening to about 75 kids and leaders — I actually found it rather stressful, trying to ensure that we purchased enough ingredients to supply all the kids with a tasty snack. Some of the kids (and leaders) didn’t find time to eat supper, which made it difficult for them and for us (we hadn’t bought a lot of extra food for seconds).

Avalanche Ranch
I actually know very little about this VBS program, since I was in the snack room each day — I didn’t even take any pictures!

The kids and I’ve been reading The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis lately — the final book of seven in the all-time favorite, Chronicles of Narnia series. Although we’ve been through all the books several times, the story seems new to Daniel and David, which makes it come alive for me again. I had to read quickly, because the story goes downhill for the first ten chapters or so, and I don’t like to linger during that part of the book. Now, finally, our characters have made it into Aslan’s Country, and we can relax and enjoy a less frenetic pace.

Bedtime after a long week
Joshua didn’t seem to mind being an auxiliary couch, but I probably should have sent Sarah to bed.

Of all the Narnia stories, The Last Battle is my favorite, although (or perhaps because?) it is gloomy for such a long while. I enjoy the thrill as Tirian slowly wakes to the realization that he is in Aslan’s Country to stay, and I love thinking about how Heaven will be so much better than anything we could ever imagine.

It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this.”

The End of Narnia?

It seems that God, when he breathed life into our souls, placed a hunger for Heaven in each of us, and our hearts yearn for it, unsatisfied, all our lives. As Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:8:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Even those simple words: True, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely — they resonate in the deep wells of my soul and send chills down my spine. More and more I find that I can recognize the shadows of these words as I see God working in the people around me, and my ears strain to hear the voice of my Beloved.

Project 365 – Day 215

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8 thoughts on “Aslan’s Country”

  1. YES!

    For too long, I struggled and felt depressed because I always feel like an outsider looking in, always homesick, never home, wondering what was wrong with me. That’s because I really am NOT home yet. Now, I realise that, it’s not so painful not ‘fitting in’ anywhere. In fact, it’s good!

    I’m homesick for heaven.

  2. What a service you and Joshua gave to the VBS program in the way of snack providers. Sounds very busy!! Why are churches going towards evening VBS programs these days? Working moms, I guess.When our church did that, I stopped helping out. Which is too bad- as I enjoyed it alot. But I made the decision to be home in the evenings with my J-J since he’s gone every day and long hours!

    Anyway-I loved the couch picture. You’ve peaked my interest in the Narnia books. Maybe I’ll start them over, too- esp. now that I’ve finished Harry.

    Love you Edgrens!! Aunt Kate

  3. We love these books as well. My favorite was always The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. But, last time through I decided that I like The Magicians Nephew the best. I loved discovering the origins of the lamppost and the first king and the talking beasts…

    Have your kids (and you) delved into Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters?! It’s one of my all-time favorite books!

    Please say, “Hi” to Julee and Jen and anyone else you see from our last circle. I could not get Julee’s email to work.

    Hope to see you in the fall! Love, Beth

  4. Holly and I are only in book 4 or so, although dh has read all the way through the series.

    GREAT pic of all the kids on the couch!

  5. We just started our five day marathon of VBS tonight! The kids had a great time, but they will be pooped by Thursday night.

    The Narnia books are all time favorites here also. We’ve read through them so many times. Each time we seem to pick up something new.

  6. I didn’t realize that snacks was such a difficult part of VBS, but then I’ve never helped with a VBS so how would I know? I remember Lee mentioning that she has taken care of the snacks at their church VBS for a few years now and each time it caused her quite a bit of stress as well.

  7. Beth — we haven’t done The Screwtape Letters yet … but it is something to consider. I read Hinds Feet on High Places to the kids a while back, but the little ones didn’t really track with me on that one.

    Cynthia — we were feeding about 70 kids and 10 grown-ups, and the stress really came because the snacks were built out of components, and I wasn’t sure how much of each thing to buy (in spite of some excellent directions we were provided). For example, we did a snack mix including pretzels, red licorice, M&M’s, raisins and mini-wheat cereal, and we ended up with lots of extra mini-wheat cereal and raisins, but far too few M&M’s. It was made even more difficult by the fact that some of the ingredients were donated and others I had to purchase, and I didn’t really find out which were which until the last moment. Because of the timing of the VBS program, a lot of kids were coming without having eaten a proper supper, and we had them until 8:15 or 8:30 each night — I felt very driven to make sure we provided a decent snack. It all worked out, but it was surprisingly stressful.

    I’m sure it was a lot more difficult for the craft team. :)

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