Book of the Month: No More Dragons
So far, I'm doing better at reading a book a month this year. Here's one I read a few weeks ago. The title and the main theme comes from C.S. Lewis's Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
In Lewis's book a character named Eustace is drawn to a dragon, his wealth, power and life. As he dwells more and more on the dragon he eventually becomes a dragon himself. It's a slow sneaky process and he doesn't realize what's happening until he's full dragon. Try as he might there's nothing he can do to change the spell that's overcome him. Then the Lion, Aslan, comes to him and tears off the dragon flesh, giving him the form he longed to return to. Jim Burgen identifies with Eustace and says this is what happens to all of us; whether we recognize it or not, all of us can and do become dragons. But it's not just about losing our identity and becoming something we never intended to be, it's also about how to keep our dragonly actions from hurting others. Sometimes it's hard to call oneself a Christian when so many people have been emotionally or spiritually beat up by Christians. Burgen says we first need to recognize that we are all dragons. Next, we need to let Christ (the Lion) un-dragon us, and then we must live each day in humility, remembering the prison that was our dragon body from which we're so graciously freed. When you know that you deserve to be constricted to a dragon's body it's hard to throw stones at others whose battles are more publicly dragonish. The truth is we are all fighting the same battle (against becoming or staying dragons) and whether our battles are obvious to others or carefully hidden we are all fighting them--and we should be. Seeing ourselves in this light brings us daily to the humble realization that without the Lion we are forever dragons. Once we are honest about our own need for that Lion, Christ, we must extend the same grace and truth that He's extended us. If you call yourself a Christian or you can't stand people who call themselves "Christians," this book offers a great perspective!