A few years ago, I spent a delightful 3 or 4 weeks reading The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time. I have a favorite section in each book, and in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I love the story about the valiant mouse called Reepicheep.
He is on a grand adventure. His quest is to find Aslan’s country (a clear picture of heaven). As a youngster, Reepicheep was taught a poem that drove him forward in his journey. It said, “Where sky and water meet, where the waves grow sweet, doubt not Reepicheep, to find all you seek. There is the utter east.”
Along the way, he remarked to his shipmates, “I do not know what it means. But the spell of it has been on me all my life.”
Reepicheep is utterly abandoned to the cause of finding that country. He said, “While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle (a small lightweight boat).
When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan’s country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise.”
The spell of heaven weighed heavily on everything Reepicheep did. And it should on us as well.
For the believer, heaven is not an abstract concept or an idea that helps us suffer through the bad times of life. It is a real destination. It is a real place with very real and important characteristics.
This week might be a great time for all of us to commit some time and effort into really understanding “Aslan’s country.” Just think about it: It is a place of learning and discovery. It has a dimension of time and space. It will feel like home. We will worship and serve the God of the universe. It will be a dynamic existence filled with meaningful work and relationships.
If the spell of heaven isn’t crisp in your heart right now, you might want to spend some time in Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven. As we all keep “swimming,” that book will help us, like Reepicheep keep our noses pointed to the sunrise.