Susan Pevensie’s Greatest Legacy and Downfall
Dirty dishes pile in the sink. Diapers need changed.
Is this my adventure? Aren’t adventures supposed to involve swords, companions, and mountains to hike?
The only mountains I’m crossing are heaps of laundry.
This wasn’t what I expected.
I wonder if Susan Pevenise felt the same. She leaves Narnia in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with brave words.
“Then in the name of Aslan,” said Queen Susan, “if ye will all have it so, let us go on and take the adventure that shall fall to us.” (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Chapter 17)
This willingness to step into the unknown and face whatever Aslan sends ripples down through Narnia’s history.
In The Silver Chair, after Rilian is freed but still has to risk his life to return to Narnia, he says,
“Let us descend into the City and take the adventure that is sent us.” (Chapter 13)
This sentiment even endures to The Last Battle (spoilers ahead) when King Tirian faces the end of Narnia. (Spoilers ahead.) Whenever everything is lost, Tirian and his few fellow soldiers fight a battle they can never win. But he doesn’t waver.
“In the end Euctace and Jill begged so hard that Tirian said they could come with him and take their chance-or, as he much more sensibly called it, ‘the adventure that Aslan would send them.’” (The Last Battle, Chapter 9)
There, with the last King of Narnia, lies the words of Susan.
But as King Tirian found out, Susan is no longer a friend of Narnia. Somewhere in between Prince Caspian and The Last Battle, she forgot Narnia and Aslan which leaves us gasping, “What happened?”
I’ve written several articles on Susan Pevensie, talking about her true power we often ignore, why her lipstick really is a big deal, how I believe Susan will remember Narnia once more, and more.
While we could speculate for hours why Susan Pevensie forgot Narnia, I have to wonder if Susan simply did not seize the adventure that fell on her.
We know from Prince Caspian that she was much more reluctant to enter into the adventure. It all starts when the others want to open the door to see if it was the treasury in Cair Paravel.
“Oh, do let’s leave it alone,” said Susan. “We can try it in the morning. If we’ve got to spend the night here, I don’t want an open door at my back and a great big black hole that anything might come out of, besides the draft and the damp.”
Then she didn’t want to have a shooting match with Trumpkin, and she certainly didn’t like shooting at the Telmarines or the bear.
Worst of all, she didn’t really want to see Aslan.
“But I’ve been far worse than you know. I really believed it was him—he, I mean—yesterday. When he warned us not to go down to the fir wood. And I really believed it was him tonight, when you woke us up. I mean, deep down inside. Or I could have, if I’d let myself. But I just wanted to get out of the woods and—and—oh, I don’t know. And whatever am I to say to him?” (Prince Caspian, Chapter 11)
Susan knew Aslan was near, and yet she chose to ignore him. She wasn’t seizing her adventure. She was running from it.
When she finally meets Aslan, she admits that she was afraid and felt stronger. For the rest of the book, she stays close to Aslan and enters into the adventure more.
But what happened when she steps out of Narnia and into this world?
I don’t think Susan Pevensie seized the adventure in this world at all.
Perhaps her life here wasn’t as wonderful as it was in Narnia. Perhaps she had some insecurity or deep fears (which wouldn’t be a surprise after WWII?) that are never mentioned.
Perhaps Susan just didn’t want that adventure.
I can understand that feeling.
That stack of laundry and dirty bathroom?
I don’t want that adventure. Give me some battle to fight.
But this is the very adventure God has sent me.
I remember setting out on my own as a college student, ready to take on the world and have great adventures. Over 20 years later, my life isn’t at all what I thought it would be. In fact, 99% of what I do is not ever in any books.
We have expectations that adventures should go a certain way, and when life takes a turn we don’t expect, we often kick and scream. (Or is that just me?)
But, the heart of Susan Pevensie’s first words “take the adventure that shall fall to us” is surrender.
Surrender to God’s plan.
Surrender to God.
For He knows best.
So dishes or death, I will take the adventure that falls on me.
Because God is planning the very best for us.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Because God is in absolute control.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” Romans 8:28
Because God stands beside me.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Because even the most mundane tasks are for God.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24
Because I want to hear these words.
“’Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” Matthew 25:21
So, excuse me for now, I have some dragons in the form of dishes to slay. And I have a feeling it’s going to be a grand adventure.
This was a great way of understanding Susan I never thought about it that way thank you. You’ve given me a new perspective.
So glad you get to see Susan in a new way!
Thanks for sharing another post of Narnia. I love Narnia and this new adventure into motherhood is certainly not the excitement I expected. Diapers, dishes and dirty laundry drag through my days but those verses you shared above a great encouragement and reminder for me 💕
It’s a reminder to me, too! That stuff can bring us down, but the giggles and fun make this adventure we’re on worth it. Hang in there! The dishes and diapers will slow down one day.