If you only read far enough in the Narnia series to meet Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, you haven’t met one of my favorite characters. Oh, he certainly isn’t my favorite at the beginning of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. He’s annoying, mean, selfish, and lazy. He’s also greedy, and this greed leads him to become a dragon. He isn’t happy as a dragon, but doesn’t know how to change back into a boy. Until …
“I was lying awake and wondering what on earth would become of me. And then—but, mind you, it may have been all a dream. I don’t know.
Well, anyway, I looked up and saw the very last thing I expected: a huge lion coming slowly towards me … I was terribly afraid of it. You may thing that, being a dragon, I could have knocked any lion out easily enough. But it wasn’t that find of fear. I wasn’t afraid of it eating me, I was just afraid of it–if you can understand. Well, it came up close to me and looked straight into my eyes. And I shut my eyes tight. But that wasn’t any good because it told me to follow it …
So at last we came to the top of a mountain I’d never seen before and on the top of this mountain there was a garden—tress and fruit and everything. In the middle of it there was a well …
The water was as clear as anything and I thought if I could get in there and bathe it would ease the pain in my leg. but the lion told me I must undress first. Mind you, I don’t know if he said any words out loud or not.
I was just going to say that I couldn’t undress because I hadn’t any clothes on when I suddenly thought that dragons are snaky sort of things and snakes can cast their skins. Oh, of course, thought I, that’s what the lion means. So I started scratching myself and my scales began coming off all over the place. And then I scratched a little deeper and, instead of just scales coming off here and there, my whole skin started peeling off beautifully, like it does after an illness, or as if I was a banana. In a minute or two I just stepped out of it. I could see it lying there beside me, looking rather nasty. It was a most lovely feeling. So I started to go down into the well for my bathe.
But just as I was going to put my feet into the water I looked down and saw that they were all hard and rough and wrinkled and scaly just as they had been before. Oh, that’s all right, said I, it only means I had another smaller suit on underneath the first one, and I’ll have to get out of it too. So I scratched and tore again and this underskin peeled off beautifully and out I stepped and left it lying beside the other one and went down to the well for my bathe.
Well, exactly the same thing happened again. And I thought to myself, oh dear, how ever many skins have I got to take off? For I was longing to bathe my leg. So I scratched away for the third time and got off a third skin, just like the two others, and stepped out of it. But as soon as I looked at myself in the water I knew it had been no good.
The the lion said—but I don’t know if it spoke—’You will have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.
The very first tear he made was do deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know—if you’ve ever picked the scab of a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.
Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off—just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt—and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I, as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me—I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on—and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again. You’d think me simply phoney if I told you how I felt about my own arms. I know they’ve no muscle and are pretty mouldy compared with Caspian’s, but I was so glad to see them.
After a bit the lion took me out and dressed me … Well, I don’t exactly remember that bit. But he did somehow or other: in new clothes—the same I’ve got on now, as a matter of fact. and then suddenly I was back here. Which is what makes me think it must have been a dream.”
“No. It wasn’t a dream,” said Edmund.
“Well, there are the clothes for one thing. And you have been—well, un-dragoned for another.”
“What do you think it was, then?” asked Eustace.
“I think you’ve seen Aslan,” said Edmund.
This time of year, many of us talk about newness. New habits. New diets. New goals. New dreams. We make lists, sign up for gym memberships, and read books that promise to help. But this section about Eustace from C. S. Lewis reminds me who truly makes us new.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Invite Him to tear away the old in your life. Accept the pain and comfort that come with sanctification. Become a new creation in the new year.
I don’t want to go into 2017 with the same negative thought patterns I’ve struggled with in years past.
If you struggle with unforgiveness, anger, jealousy, worry, or discontentment like I do, sign up for Live Renewed: Managing Your Emotions for a Better 2017. It’s a free five-day email course that will help you take off old negative emotions and start off 2017 with healthier thought patterns. Your first email will arrive in your inbox on December 26th, and you can join me in taking the week between Christmas and New Years to see how God wants to help you put on the new self!