rebelling against low expectations

How the Chronicles of Narnia Promotes Doing Hard Things


Peter stood trembling with a heavy sword in his hand. At the other end of the sword a huge, snarling wolf crouched, ready to pounce at any moment. Peter gulped, unsure of his next move. Suddenly, the wolf sprang. Peter fell backwards, hoping that the wolf would fall on his outstretched sword.

The scene that I just retold should be quite familiar if you have ever watched or read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I have seen and heard this story many times, but one day I realized that this famous story was actually encouraging teenagers to do hard things and rebel against low expectations, long before Do Hard Things was written.

In the above mentioned scene, Peter has only owned a sword for a few hours. He has zero training. He is merely a teenager trying to protect his family in a strange, mystical land. After a harrowing journey, Peter, Susan, Lucy, and the Beavers finally make it to Aslan’s camp, and Peter assumes he can relax for the time being. But suddenly, the peacefulness is shattered by the sound of Susan’s horn. Peter runs to find Lucy and Susan trapped in a tree with a giant wolf (who just happens to be able to talk!) snapping at their feet.

Peter, both young and totally inexperienced, finds himself engaged in battle with a vicious wolf to save the lives of his sisters.

At this point, it would seem reasonable to replace Peter with an older, more experienced fighter. However, when other Narnian soldiers tried to assist Peter, Aslan stopped them with the words, “Back! Let the Prince win his spurs”.

Despite the fact that he had no clue what he was doing, Peter managed to vanquish the wolf. He gained the confidence he would need to fight many future battles. He took his first step towards becoming the High King of Narnia.

However, while he stood shaking with an unused sword in his hands, he probably did not feel anything like a king in the making. As he stared at the bloodthirsty wolf intent on killing him, his instincts were most likely encouraging him to cower or flee.  But Aslan knew that if Peter would face the challenge, he would succeed. He knew that this victory would be the first of many. More importantly, Aslan also knew that if Peter did not face this battle, he would fail to build the courage that he would need for future battles.

In our journey of doing hard things, we often face wolf moments. Face to face with a huge opportunity to test our swords, we either plunge into the fight or run.

Whatever we decide, our actions will have an effect on others. Other people will suffer due to our cowardice, just like Susan and Lucy in Peter’s story. We have a choice. Will we obey God’s directive to “Be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:9), or will we believe the enemy’s lie when he whispers discouragement?

Hopefully, like Peter, we will follow God’s leading and act on His strength. We can look at our challenges with confidence because we know THE lion is right behind us!

God, our Aslan, is right by our side. We are never alone.

Always remember:

1)      Even if you feel unprepared for the task at hand, God will provide you with the strength you need to accomplish what He has called you to do.

2)       God has never chosen a “qualified” person to work for Him to this day. This is not to say that preparation is a bad thing, but there comes a time when we have to stop preparing and start doing.

3)      Courage is like a muscle. You have to exercise it at every opportunity or else you will not be prepared for future challenges. Facing the small battles with courage will give you the strength to win the large battles when that time comes.

The next time you are faced with a challenge that seems insurmountable, remember the story of Peter and the wolf. A battle that looks impossible to win is made possible by God. Your responsibility is to take action, thus giving God an opportunity to work through you. Take a step of faith and try out your sword!

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Photo courtesy of Laura Gommans via Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the author

Audrey French

Audrey French is a graduate from Grand Canyon University’s Honors College. She works for Feed My Starving Children as a program facilitator. She also does the communications work for AIM for Christ, a ministry that serves the San Carlos Apache reservation. Nothing makes her happier than catching up with good friends and hanging out with her family. She is passionate about growing in her faith in Jesus and helping nonprofit organizations such as Compassion International. You can find her blogging at Living Blessed With Less.


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  • Wow Audrey, I never thought of that before….thank you for writing it and bringing up a good perspective

  • That was wonderful Audrey! “In our journey of doing hard things, we often face wolf moments. Face to face with a huge opportunity to test our swords, we either plunge into the fight or run.” Yes, and being reminded that those wolf moments — of terrifying uncertainty and newness — are often there so that we are prepared for bigger battles to come, is a fantastic comfort. Thank you for this reminder!

  • Great article! I had never looked at The Chronicles of Narnia that way before! You did a great job!

  • Great article, Audrey! Narnia is one of my favorite stories… I love how you brought out the truths from this scene!

  • “God has never chosen a “qualified” person to work for Him to this day. This is not to say that preparation is a bad thing, but there comes a time when we have to stop preparing and start doing.”

    Wow Audrey, this hit the mark! I’ve never thought much about that part of the book/movie; I think tonight might have to be a movie night!! 😉

    • I’m glad that this encouraged you! I’m so grateful that we don’t have to be perfectly prepared before God can use us. If we had to be, I don’t think God would be able to find anyone to use. 🙂
      I definitely think that you have a good excuse to go watch the movie 😉

      • Yes, I am getting ready to leave for Mexico in a little over a week. I feel so unqualified to build a house for a family!! I have been reading 2 Corinthians 3:5 a LOT; “It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.”

  • Amen, sister!!! This is exactly what I needed today. Also, I absolutely love Narnia. Though I think the books are better 😉

    • Hey Melissa! I’m glad that this was a blessing to you. I like the first movie, but I do not like the Prince Caspian movie or The Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie. They are both a little bit too weird in my opinion. 🙂 Have you listened to the audio dramas by Focus on the Family? They are the bomb!

    • I love Narnia too, so I was pretty excited when I saw that C.S. Lewis was encouraging teenagers to rebel against low expectations. That made the story even better in my mind. 🙂

  • I kid you not, i literally just came upstairs from watching this movie!! So when i opened my computer and saw this article come up it was like WOAH GOD MOMENT!
    While watching it again I was thinking about Do Hard Things, and how the ones chosen to help save an entire kingdom weren’t the strong, trained warriors, who would have been the obvious choice. Instead it was 4 kids who had barely been there half a day! But they rose to the challenge beautifully to protect family, friends, and even innocent people they had never met!! What a beautiful picture of absolute selflessness and love.

    • That is so cool that you saw this right after watching the movie!
      God definitely chooses the foolish and the weak to confound the wise and the strong, and C.S. Lewis did a great job of showing that in his books.

      • “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 1 Cor. 12:9

  • I love the Narnian stories so much, and I really admired C. S Lewis as a writer. This article has made my day. Between the “hard” life of a high-school student, I find this very comforting. Thank you

  • Wonderful Article. The Chronicles of Narnia is great favorite in our family. We love the audio book version, as well as the books.

  • Narnia is my childhood and I love it with all my heart!!!! This was a great article 🙂 (Am I the only one that cried a tiny bit at the end of The Last Battle? XD)

    • Hi Mally,
      Always nice to meet another Narnia enthusiast. 🙂 I agree, The Last Battle is pretty sad. I think the saddest part for me is Susan loosing the faith.

  • This is excellent, Audrey! Your reminders that God gives us the strength to do His commands and uses us even though we’re not “qualified” are so encouraging.
    -Tatiana Rusev

  • Great article, Audrey! I’m actually reading the Narnia series now so this was perfect timing. I love this quote in Prince Caspian:

    Aslan: “Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?”
    Caspian: “I-I don’t think I do, sir – I am only a kid.”
    Aslan: “Good. If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been proof that you were not.”

    It seems like the people God used in the Bible to do amazing things were almost always (what we would consider) weak and under-qualified.

    “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” – Mark Batterson

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →