Dragon Skin

As I sit here and watch The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (from the Chronicles of Narnia series of books and movies) with my children, I think I am learning more than they are about life. In the movie, there is a young boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserves his snobby-sounding name. Eustace is the epitome of arrogant, annoying and self-seeking. He is on the journey in Narnia with a very bad attitude.

Boy oh boy can I ever relate to having a bad attitude. There are days when I wake up grumpy, and I am not even sure why. Maybe it’s the stress in my life, the workload I try to keep up with or the lack of sleep I get at night. Whatever it is, it is always the small stuff of life that get me down. Eustace experiences a life changing moment while on the journey in Narnia. On an island where he is supposed to be helping the others, he sneaks off and finds a dragon’s lair littered with gold. In a single self-seeking decision, he picks up a gold bracelet and puts it on his wrist. Long story short - Eustace becomes a dragon. He grows dragon skin and becomes a huge, fire breathing dragon. His outside finally is as ugly as his inside had been and in his loneliness and isolation he realizes that if he doesn’t change, he will die alone as a monster.

Be careful, because if you’re like me, you’ll see a little bit of yourself in Eustace. We can all breathe fire at times, and sometimes, if we allow our grumpiness to overtake our attitude, we can grow our own dragon-skin. And it is not pretty. Sometimes it takes extreme life circumstances to make us see our desperate need for a complete internal make-over, but hopefully we don’t wait too long. At least not long enough to look like a dragon on the outside. In Eustace’s case we have this incredible scene where Aslan (representing Jesus) comes to him in a dream and invites him to remove his ugly dragon-skin so he can immerse himself in a healing pool that will restore him to be a normal boy again.

At first Eustace thinks this will be a simple task as he easily and painlessly scrapes and sheds his dragon skin. But as soon as he heads towards the waters, he discovers that a new one has quickly taken its place. That’s when Aslan graciously offers to take the scales off for him, and it becomes a very painful process. The end result is the healing, restoration, and transformation of Eustace into a completely different person. A kinder, gentler person who is compassionate towards others with a positive attitude. So where does that leave us.

We want to rid ourselves of our dragon-skin but soon realize we can’t do it alone. Like Eustace, we need God’s help. As you already know, there are also “Eustace” people all around you. They carry an attitude and mindset of selfishness and even cruelty. But you should not avoid those people, after all they need love and grace more than anyone. And though it is not easy to give grace, we all want to receive grace, for each of us has dragon-skin moments in our lives. And though we may not be traveling in Narnia, our journey in this life is still an adventure. So what do you plan to wear?

Posted by Trish Berg 12:59 PM  

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