I’ve been thinking a lot lately about adventure. My reflections on this topic have been mainly inspired by my rereading of The Chronicles of Narnia, and particularly The Silver Chair. In this book, two children, Jill and Eustace, are called by the great lion Aslan into his world of Narnia and sent on a mission to rescue the missing Prince Rillian. They team up with a Marshwiggle named Puddleglum. Jill, unlike the others, is entirely new to adventure. She begins out hopefully, as she and her companions embark on their journey on a fresh, lovely morning on a pleasant moor, observing that perhaps she likes adventure, to which Puddleglum replies, “We haven’t had any yet”. Later in the book, we see Jill wet and cold, hungry and tired, having endured giants hurling boulders at her, and prepared to give up the whole adventure in exchange for hot food, a bed and a bath. This is where we see the real adventure: as often as it is exciting and a bright and shining thing, it is just as often plodding through deep snow and persevering in the quest to which you were called.
The City House experience is a true adventure, full of both joy and difficulty. Like Jill, this year’s students perhaps arrived to the house on that first day full of hopes and the thrill of new beginnings and expectation of realizing the great treasure of Christian community at the end. Like Jill, perhaps they were vaguely aware that challenges would present themselves, but in the moment, they were largely out of sight.
At this point in the semester, we are in the throes of real adventure. Students endure the elements of stress, differences of opinion regarding dishes, busy schedules, and all the heavy weights life can throw at us. Life together is hard and messy but we know that it is worth it, because though the journey is hard, it is the only path by which we arrive at the journey’s end and the joy that awaits us there. Along the way there is yet beauty among the hardship if our eyes are open to see it, and it is in the going that we are transformed. This adventure is not easy, but it is by our Lord and King and Love that we were called to this living-out of Christian community and it is by him that we carry on. Pray for us, friends, for faithfulness to our calling in the fullness of the beautiful and challenging adventure that it is.
-Janelle Almond, Resident Director
Lewis, C. S., and Pauline Baynes. The Silver Chair. New York, NY: HarperTrophy, 1994. Print.