Today’s prompt: Write a rant about something that upsets you.
Life isn’t fair. Things don’t always work out, and sometimes it seems like there’s no reason why they shouldn’t. You try hard. You wait patiently. You hope for the best. And it doesn’t happen. It feels like it’s all in vain. What’s the point of even trying?
I’ve been there before. I’m there right now. It’s easy to get frustrated and contemplate giving up, but with this situation, I know that’s not the answer. So I keep going even though I don’t know when I’ll achieve what I’m working towards.
Last week, I happened to be reading a book that made reference to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy. Of all the Narnia books, this one has never been my favorite. It’s the one I read because I’m reading the whole series, not because I’m overly excited about it. But there’s one part I had never thought much of until last week.
Shasta, the protagonist, has had a rough life. And to make a long story short, he is at a point in the book in which he feels that he is “the most unfortunate boy that ever lived in the whole world” because everything has gone “right for everyone except me” (Lewis 280). To make matters worse, he’s had a pack of lions pursuing him since his adventure began, and now has been cornered by one. If anyone could say life stinks, he could.
But instead of eating him, the lion gives an explanation that has haunted me since I read it:
“I do not call you unfortunate … There was only one lion … I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, ready to receive you.” (Lewis 281)
Obviously, the lion (and cat) is Aslan, and his words resonate deeply with me.
Sometimes life is hard and doesn’t make sense, but I have to keep in mind that I only see things from one angle. I’m a character, like Shasta. I don’t see what the Author sees. I run from the lion, but I don’t know the reason why. I don’t see that I’ll miss the most important part of my story if I don’t hurry. It’s not like authors poke their heads into stories and say, “Oh, hey! Listen, I know you’re comfortable hanging out around here, but I need you to go over there as fast as you can, okay?”
I don’t know why things work out the way they do. But I also know that life wouldn’t be the same without struggle. There’s so much to learn and so many ways to grow, and sometimes the only time I can see those things is when life doesn’t go my way.
So I choose to enjoy life even when times are hard. I choose to count my blessings instead of staring at the things that make my heart ache. I choose to be grateful in the meantime and for the waiting because of the experiences I now have thanks to them. I choose to keep my hopes high and remember that I can’t see the whole story yet, but it’ll work out the way that it should in the end. And I choose to keep running. I don’t know where the lion is pushing me, but I want to be there on time.
Lewis, C.S. The Chronicles of Narnia. New York: HaperCollins, 2001.