This month for What's on Your Nightstand, I want to post my thoughts on The Horse and His Boy, which I finished rereading last week.
As a kid, this was my least favorite in the series. We hardly spend any time in Narnia, and we don't get there magically. It's set during the many years that Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy ruled, but we hardly see them (and never see my favorite, Peter). Much of this was intensional since C. S. Lewis said he wanted it to feel different.
Yet as an adult, I've really come to appreciate the book.
In many ways, this story reminds me of Esther from the Bible. In that story, God is definitely ever present in how things play out, even an episode of insomnia for the king, but He is never mentioned. While Aslan does show up here, there are many times he is active in the story without our characters knowing about it. And everything plays out perfectly, meaning that his hand was involved in every small detail of the story.
And that's one thing I appreciate now. All the small details come together perfectly for a great climax. Plus the villain gets the perfect come uppance.
Then there are the lessons of pride. Bree the Horse spends much of the book worried about how he will be perceived once he returns to Narnia. When they have to cut his tail, he considers staying away for months. He is ready to give up the simple pleasure of rolling in the grass if the others don't do it. Now it is quite obvious to those who know me that I don't worry too much about how others will perceive me. But I do let that affect me some. It's human nature. Here pride isn't a fatal flaw, but it is a reminder that it can rob us of simple pleasures.
Finally, there's the repeated line from Aslan about only telling someone their own story. It's simple and direct, and a great reminder that all we truly need to worry about is us and doing what God has called us to do. It's like in John 21 when Jesus tells Peter not to worry about John's future; Peter just needs to follow Him.