Image from the cover illustration by Stephen Lavis
“‘Use?’ replied Reepicheep. ‘Use, Captain? If by use you mean filing our bellies or our purses, I confess it will be no use at all. So far as I know we did not set sail to look for things useful but to seek honour and adventure. And here is as great an adventure as ever I heard of, and here, if we turn back, no little impeachment of all our honours'” (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis).
If you don’t know your Narnia, Reepicheep is a mouse–a walking, talking, sword-fighting mouse. He is one of the most noble, courageous, and brash characters of the series all while being the smallest. And here he calls his shipmates to be brave.
Where are they? They are sitting at the edge of the Darkness. “For a few feet in front of their bows they could see the swell of the bright greenish-blue water. Beyond that, they could see the water looking pale and grey as it would look late in the evening. But beyond that, utter blackness.”
Everyone says ‘stay back,’ but Reepicheep says, “I hope it will never be told in Narnia that a company of noble and royal persons in the flower of their age turned tail because they were afraid of the dark.”
This was ‘my quote’ in the yearbook when I graduated from college. I’ve repurposed it for my use as a call to courage and honour when I am tempted to turn tail. Oh, maybe it would be easier to turn back. Oh, maybe there’s no ‘use’ in it. But if I turn back, that mars my honour.
Not that I’ve done crazy stuff like sailing into a darkness on the water. But, I’ve done things like singing competitively in festivals… which may be just as scary. I couldn’t say no to my teacher just because i was scared, so I had to say yes, and sing. And I loved it–shaking knees and all.
I wonder what else I would have done if I hadn’t been ‘afraid of the dark?’
What about you? What have you done, though you were scared, that paid off in the end?