Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Third Week of Advent: Downsize!

The other day I went to McDonalds with my boys.  Since we all were hungry I ordered a meal for them and one for me. Then came the question that we all have grown so used to hearing- “Would you like to supersize that?”  Not just “Would you like a large order?”  Not even “Would you like an extra-large order?”  But would you like a “Super-Sized” order?  I figured that enough supersized fries would result in a supersized me, so I declined.  But it got me to thinking, “What are some other ways that I do ‘supersize’ me?”  While I passed on the fries, I realized that there are many ways that I sometimes try to make a larger “me” than I should.  I don’t think I’m alone in this temptation either.

In C.S. Lewis’ popular work, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, two characters, Lucy and Edmund, are described as very different people.  Lucy is honest, patient, compassionate, and selfless.  Edmund is presented, almost from the first page of the book, as spiteful, mean, and very self-centered.   Edmund is deceived and tempted by the White Witch to betray his brother and sisters in an old and very simple way.  The White Witch offers to supersize his ego.  She says:
I want a nice boy I could bring up as a Prince and who would be King of Narnia when I am gone.  While he was Prince he would wear a hold crown and eat Turkish Delight all day long; and you are much the cleverest and handsomest young man I have ever met.  I think I would like to make you the Prince- someday when you bring the others to me.”1
She appeals to his ego.  She flatters him and pulls all the right strings- strings that trip him up and lead to a major crisis in the book.  In some ways Edmund is a type -sort of an example of what trips up almost everyone in one way or another.  The temptations that we all face, as varied as they are, are almost always a temptation to place ourselves at the center of the universe.  The temptation is to crown ourselves Prince or Princess.

Yesterday, which marked the beginning of the third week of Advent, continues in the vein of weeks one and two by calling us to prepare for the coming of Christ –after all, that was the expressed task of John the Baptist.

Click here to read the rest of this Advent Meditation.


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