“But then suddenly Aslan came bounding into it…once He was there He pulled the whole story together.” – C. S. Lewis
Today, C. S. Lewis is regarded as one of the 20th Century’s most influential Christian theologians. But this is only because, after his conversion to Christianity, Lewis allowed his faith in Jesus Christ to impact everything he did, including the products he chose to create.
Through works such as Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and The Four Loves, Lewis used words to paint pictures of who God is and who He is not. The best example of this is found in The Chronicles of Narnia, the children’s fiction series which centers on the character of Aslan, the Christ-like lion who creates Narnia and redeems it through His sacrificial death.
Perhaps contrary to popular belief, Lewis, like most culture-creators, did not lock himself in a room until he came up with an idea for a series of books that would reveal the redemptive character of God. As Lewis once explained, “Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an instrument, then collected information about child psychology and decided what age group I’d write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out ‘allegories’ to embody them.
This is all pure moonshine. I couldn’t write in that way. All my seven Narnian books began with seeing pictures in my head. [The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe] began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: ‘Let’s try to make a story about it.’ At first I had very little idea how the story would go. But then suddenly Aslan came bounding into it…once He was there He pulled the whole story together.”
Like Lewis, our product ideas will likely not come from brainstorming sessions where we focus intensely on how we can create a product that reveals God’s character. But as we begin to create, and we “let the Word of Christ dwell in [us] richly,” (Colossians 3:16) we will undoubtedly see how we can use our creations to reveal the character of our Creator. If our work is to feel like a calling, we, like Lewis, must be willing to allow the True Aslan to come “bounding into” every aspect of our lives, including our work.
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
From C.S. Lewis & The Call to Create (Devotional) by Jordan Raynor.