“The value of the myth is that it takes all the things we know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by “the veil of familiarity”. The child enjoys his gold meat (otherwise dull to him) by pretending it is buffalo, just killed with his own bow and arrow. And the child is wise. The real meat comes back to him more savoury for having been dipped in a story; you might say that only then is it the real meat. If you are tired of the real landscape, look at it in a mirror. By putting bread, gold, horse, apple, or the very roads into a myth, we do not retreat from reality: we rediscover it. As long as the story lingers in our mind, the real things are more themselves.” – C.S. Lewis
Squeezing the essence out of life, clenching between our fists that material by which we are to be enriched, too often we fail to allow room for that which we cannot control by grasp and might to flow as it should. I’ve heard many times of Bible studies, the reading of the entire Bible in ninety days, as more of a corporal punishment than something by which one can be refreshed and filled with the Holy Spirit- rather, it becomes a monotonous lecture of words through which we tire, losing focus on what God is meaning to speak into our lives. We check off the box, saying how much we have accomplished, yet in the grand scheme of things, we’ve only spent time in the Word superficially, leaving the best morsels on the table, thinking that we have bettered ourselves when fooling ourselves was the only success obtained in the struggle.
Finding life in the every day things, the beauty of God’s creation is similar in aspect. When allowed, that which is beyond our comprehension comes into our thoughts as creative decorations, adorning the journal upon the table before us, presenting itself as something more than just a paper and pen, but a pathway into a magical journey through the mystical realm of the mind’s imagination. Squeezing the life of every waking minute of the day shouldn’t be one of tireless pursuit of money or labor to the point we become weary of living. Rather, we should embrace the breath of air in our lungs as another opportunity to find that secret cove beyond the next bend in the forest trail to which we seek – its magical discovery unfolding a world to which we have yet to discover, exhaling the very essence of the Spirit into our soul.
Last night, the dream began with something of a defensive posturing against something unseen, something dark and sinister. We were to dig large holes, much like one might find with a crawdad hole, albeit without the tower of mud, but more like the forty-five-degree angle of the hole in the ground the size that would capture an alligator or animal similar in size. These holes we dug were in water about waste deep. After setting up, we then pulled the craft in which we worked onto shore on a roughly paved landing. It looked like something someone would have done by hand, shaping the pavement in handfuls of tar-covered rocks, then smoothing them with the palm – lumpy, uneven, but useful, in that the traction gained was better than a smooth surface that would become slick with water.
Later, the old general store, or what was left of it, came to mind. From the darkness, I approached a dimly lit counter area. Nothing else was visible, like a beacon on the shoreline, it was all there was. Behind the counter, the shelves stocked with the normal old country store wares. Before the counter, under the shadow of the protruding edge, sat bags of beans and small barrels of smoked fish and crackers. There was a poorly constructed chicken coop built behind and around the counter as if it were the support structure for the loosely wound chicken wire. It appeared it had either been constructed in haste, or by someone ignorant in the methods of building a chicken coop. Predators were a major concern, either by myself or the proprietor in charge. During the day, the chickens were allowed to walk around, in and out the front door, around the store, or wherever they wanted to roam. But when dusk came, we hurriedly sought the poultry to put back into their cage of protection. This anxiety seemed to become the overriding theme of the dream in that when I awoke, there was a feeling of anxiousness – not being able to keep up with mortality induced by foxes, coons, and coyotes.
Knowing that the F3 group would be at Local Lion, which was my initial destination for the day, taking up the majority if not all of the parking spaces, my drive was intentionally slowed by my own intentions, giving the F3 gang time to disperse. Taking my time, the commute was much more enjoyable. Along the way, the concept of allowing the story to dwell within the reality before me added to the beauty of the coming dawn – giving life to those inanimate structures that we see day after day. Their stories allow for richer perceptions to flow, and with that, something greater than the superficial observation begins to surface. As Lewis put it, “the veil of familiarity,” when removed, allows for the richness of the essence of significance something once had to return to its former glory, penetrating through the persistent glaze of rust brought on by daily wear. Finding the will to perceive that concept is not easy. Alone, we are incapable of doing such, or at best, vaguely successful. Some turn to exterior inspiration in a drink or otherworldly narcotics that supposedly enlighten one’s soul. Yet, in the end, their reputation exceeds their benefit causing their partaker to faulter. Had they only found the source of true spiritual rejuvenation, they would have known that the world cannot save them nor provide for them in ways that seem to bring out the creativity they seek. It is only when we find Him, and imbibe of His Spirit, do we truly find the well from within that sates those inspirational draughts, reviving our spirit with His.
As long as the story, so to speak as Lewis wrote, dwells within us, those majestic peaks of that morning drive become even more supernatural. Their heights become legendary, and their impressive veil reflecting the coming sunrise only speak more of what we have in store that awaits, should we continue to keep Him in our heart. The day is young, and the story has yet to unfold; answer when he asks, “Whom shall I send,” with, “Send me,” and so it shall be.
The journey awaits.
 On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature. Copyright © 1982, 1966 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.