|courtesy of Google images :)|
Reepicheep. In my opinion, Reepicheep is one of the best characters ever to fill the pages of a novel. He is somewhat of an enigma. He is a mouse, who is braver than most humans. He is small, but his spirit makes up for his lack of stature. Though trapped by the limits of his size, Reepicheep is not bound to the common conceptions of a mouse – his love for adventure and his strict code of honor and nobility are worthy of a giant!
If anyone were to ask me what a true knight of Narnia looks like, Reepicheep would immediately come to mind. Courageous, courteous, chivalrous – Reepicheep fits the image of a hero in character if not in appearance (somehow, I can’t see Reepicheep charging into battle on the back of a white horse!)
But I think, perhaps, the greatest part about Reepicheep’s character is his deep and unflinching devotion to Aslan demonstrated so clearly in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
When the Dawn Treader reaches Ramandu’s island after months of hardship at sea, many of the crew wish to turn back, afraid of what lies in the unknown waters ahead.
“My own plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle East in my coracle. 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 and Peepicheek will be head of the talking mice in Narnia.”
If only we possessed this same one-mindedness in our own lives. Would that we had this same attitude toward God and seeking Him. Too often, our coracle sinks and we flounder in the water, wallowing in our misery. We take our eyes off the East and drift aimlessly, seeking first one thing and then another, forgetting our first love. We grow weary and tired of pressing on and we allow ourselves to float off course.
Why do we do that? Why do we allow the distractions of this world to draw us away from the most important thing of all?
The author of Hebrews wrote, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
If we but fixed our eyes unswervingly on Jesus, every day, how different our lives would look!
In contrast to Reepicheep’s single minded goal, Caspian becomes distracted from his purpose. Lured by the promise of adventure on a journey to the world’s end, Caspian seeks to abandon his throne, his quest, and his duties to the people of Narnia. All so that he might glimpse the Edge of the World.
This event reminds me of the story of Odysseus and the Sirens from Greek mythology (oddly enough, Edmond comes to the same conclusion, threatening to tie Caspian to the mast until he comes to his senses.)
The Sirens possessed incredibly beautiful voices, and their song was so alluring that it drove unwary sailors mad until they plunged over the side of their ship to a watery grave. In order to get past the Sirens safely, Odysseus ordered his men to plug their ears with wax so that they could not hear the song.
But he, desiring to hear the song of the Sirens without fear of leaping to his death, also commanded them to tie him to the mast so that he might listen under restraint. His men went about their work, ears blocked to the song of the Sirens, but tied to the mast, Odysseus wept and raged beneath the spell, imploring his men to release him.
Like the song of the Sirens, the distractions of this world seek to lure us astray. To draw us off the path. But like the author of Hebrews, like Odysseus’ men, let us throw off the entanglements, block our ears to the call, and run with endurance the race set for us.
Like Reepicheep, longing to reach Aslan’s country, let us fix our eyes on Christ and seek Him with all of our hearts.
Let us be like the Psalmist and say, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Where can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:1-2 )
“The coracle went more and more quickly, and beautifully it rushed up the wave’s side. For one split second they saw its shape and Reepicheep’s on the very top. Then it vanished and since that moment no one can truly claim to have seen Reepicheep the Mouse. But my belief is that he came safe to Aslan’s country and is alive there to this day.”
~ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C.S. Lewis