Monday, July 19, 2010

Reepicheep (1)

In re-reading Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I fell in love with Reepicheep. Sure, he was an amusing little bugger in the movie Prince Caspian, but I didn't pay mind to him in a serious capacity. However, the glaring beauty of his tiny little character overwhelmed me in Voyage. I'm probably the most excited to see the movie to see Reepicheep play his noble roll on film. And yes - I will cry. Hard. (I cry every time I watch the movies. The deep truths of the film are very impacting. Don't watch them with me if you fear tears.)

Reepicheep is a character who deeply impacted my faith and understanding of certain scriptures this time around. I'll share more about what I learned from him later this week, but I wanted to share how I introduced him to my son.

It's great that the animals talk in Narnia and that some are indeed as small as a mouse. Fierce and noble, yes. But kindly to look upon. C.S. Lewis apparently had a fondness for mice and never set traps, preferring to watch them stick their little noses out of holes and run around his rooms. I can't say I identify with that, but I do like the idea that such a small creature can be so valued and admired. On that note . . .

. . . I had picked up a copy of Prince Caspian: The Tail of Reepicheep which is a children's picture book based on the movie version of Prince Caspian. (Normally I dislike adaptations of any sort for kids. I make an exception for Narnia because I'm so eager to take my children into this magical land!) When the Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie comes out, you can rest assured I will be picking up every picture book I can find based on the film! And I want to find a little miniature Reepicheep (or two, or three or four!) to put on my desk and around my house to remind me of the type of character I am focused on building in myself and my children - fearless, brave and true to the King. There is so much to admire in this "little mouse."

To introduce my son to this noble mouse of Narnia, we read the above picture book and watched the following video clip, courtesy of Youtube (so that he'd know that Reepicheep is a warrior mouse):

And we listened to the lullaby that Reepicheep had sung over him when he was just a wee mouse:

This is the verse that comes to mind when I think of Reepicheep and so it's the one we've memorized this month:

"Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

In order to help us memorize the verse, we listened to this song from Seeds Family Worship:

I know that Reepicheep isn't exactly young, but he is small, giving him the appearance of an innocent. Isn't that exactly how we view children? We are frequently surprised by how much they see, hear and know and have taken to heart.

Reepicheep had a song sung over him by a Dryad when he was very young though which became the heart beat of his personal mission aboard the Dawn Treader. What was spoken over him had great impact, causing his heart to desire Aslan's country above all else. His focus was sure throughout the whole book. I'm reminded of Proverbs, chapters 3 and 4 but primarily these verses from Chapter 3:

My son, do not forget my teaching,
and let your heart keep my commands
because they will add length of days, years of life
and wholeness to you.
Do not allow mercy and truth to leave you.
Fasten them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will find favor and good sense
in the eyes of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight. (vs. 1-6)

Checking the Proverbs (Concordia Commentary) Steinmann notes that to "keep watch" or to watch over means "to be vigilant about preserving" the word of the Lord that was taught early on. There is a direct benefit to holding tight to truth and applying it to one's life. These are action words: Keep. Guard. Protect. Preserve. Faith is not a lazy man's game. Reepicheep embodies that truth.

Looking at Reepicheep I see the lesson that he held on to a prophesy that was said over him from the time he was young. He held fast to these words telling him where Aslan's country was and he pursued Aslan's country with his whole little mouse heart. He never wavered in his dedication or focus and repeated the prophesy to himself and to others in order that he would not be distracted from his ultimate goal.

I'm not trying to twist scripture here, but use a story in a character to teach my sons scriptural principals. Hang on to truth, little sons. Guard it well. Pursue the mission and the purpose that God has over your lives. Be fierce and brave and stand against lies from the enemy. Know in your hearts that God is God and seek His country. That's what I want my children to hear and to see and it starts with their father and me. We have to speak truth consistently over their lives. We must guard and protect again untruths and speak words of life to them. No small task.

There is a lesson in Reepicheep for young children and the parents of them! And there are lessons for old children too. I'll share what I learned (painful though it was) within the week.

Where sky and water meet
Where the waves grow sweet
Doubt not, Reepicheep
To find all you seek
There is the utter East.


Janet said...

Reepicheep ROCKS.

That's all.


monica @ paperbridges said...

I've loved Reepicheep since a girl. When I saw him on the screen. . . yeah, I was disappointed. Not the image or character of my imagination. But it could have been worse. lol

And I don't cry over the movies! ball like a baby when I read the books, but not the film. not sure what that says about me.

Stephanie Kay said...

As soon as I started reading 1 Tim. 4:12 the Seeds song popped into my mind. So glad you linked to them! :) We enjoy Reepicheep at our house, too.

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

I love Reepicheep, and love this post! Great thoughts.

Unknown said...

Will you like me if I say I had NO idea who Reepicheep is??

I am hoping that Narnia will appeal to Kyle and that will push me to do them as a read-aloud. I'm assuming you'll do this next summer, so count on us to join in.

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