Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Farsight's cry

Raptor I (Golden Eagle)
Originally uploaded by hpebley3

A friend asked about the meaning of last week's OneLiner posting: "Further up and further in!" attributed to Farsight the Eagle. I felt my answer required a bit more space than I had in a twitter response and a bit more time to compose. So I'm answering it here, but first, a bit of background. The quote is from the last book in C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia The Last Battle and comes towards the end. This volume is about the final days of Narnia as the reader has known it throughout the series. All the inhabitants of the land have left, the sun, moon and stars have fallen from the sky and Father Time has awakened to blow his trumpet, signaling the end.

The heroes of the series find themselves in a new land that has brighter colors, deeper smells, fresher air. After a bit they realize the place they are in is the same as the old Narnia they grew to love only much larger and richer with a more solid feel to it. It's as if the previous land was a shadow of this new one. In the context of exploring this new place, the call goes out "Further up and further in!"

As an allegory, I suppose one could derive many different meanings from the story and this particular phrase. For me, I draw parallels between the land of Narnia, our world and the Kingdom of God. In a similar way that the old Narnia passed away and a new one took its place, I believe this current world will someday meet its end and God will replace it with a new one. Somethings we know now will continue on in a deeper, richer way. Other things will pass away and be burned up. My application of Farsight's exhortation is to remember that the Kingdom of God is at hand and even now to go further up and further into the knowledge of God and work at becoming a closer friend of Jesus.