Last night I decided it was time for me to reread C. S. Lewis’ classic series The Chronicles of Narnia. I began with the first book, The Magician’s Nephew. It is in this volume that Lewis tells the story of the founding of Narnia. It will be obvious to most people that Lewis’ tale parallels to a certain degree the Creation story found in Genesis 1.
The beginnings of Narnia are witnessed by a handful of humans from earth and a wicked witch that have travelled through time and space by using some magic rings. They all witness the arrival of the lion Aslan and his singing the new world into creation. They do not, however, all witness this in the same way. The two children are in awe of what they see. The witch ends up running off in fear. Another character immediately begins to see the potential for making a fortune from what was being created before his very eyes. After this same character offers a complaint while so many wonderful things were happening all around him a different character says to him, “Oh stow it, Guv’nor, do stow it. Watchin’ and listenin’s the thing at present, not talking.”
I think these words are some a lot of us need to pay heed to when we stand before God and God’s Creation. Even now God’s Creation continues to unfold all around us. Like the characters in the book, we too are witnesses of God’s ongoing Creation. The Bible makes it clear that God is not finished with the work He started long ago. God is creating still. As we witness this ongoing work we would be wise to do more watching and listening than talking. We’ll see, hear, and learn a lot more that way.
A couple of weeks ago Rob Sheppard came to visit me and I was reminded how lax I had become in listening to Creation. Living near Los Angeles, California, Rob does not get to hear the sounds he was hearing where I live. He opened the window in our guest room so he could hear the crickets and cicadas. When we walked through John James Audubon State Park he commented on the sounds of the forest. All of the sounds he pointed out were common ones that I no longer really pay attention to. I guess I’ve come to take them for granted. That is not good. In order to get the most out of God’s “Other Book” I need to do more “watchin’ and listenin’.” I suspect a lot of people do. Perhaps recognizing that is a first step in moving toward a greater experience of God through Creation. I hope so anyway.
(I took the pictures shown above at Yellowstone National Park. This is one spot where God’s ongoing work of Creation seems pretty obvious.)