“‘Child,’ said the Lion, ‘I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own.’” (C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy)
Imagine walking through the woods on a cloudy night. The sky draws in close to you like a velvet cape, shrouding the trees in misty darkness. The stars are smudges of hazy light in the blackness. The moon is nowhere to be seen. The path beneath your feet hasn’t been traveled in many years. Most of the gravel has been washed away, leaving uneven rock and tangled roots exposed. Each step threatens to twist your ankle or toss you off the path into poison ivy.
Now imagine you’re holding a lantern. As you continue your trek through the forest, you find you have just enough light to see one step in front of you. When you take that step, the light bounces forward and you take another. And another. And another.
With every step forward, the darkness ahead looks more formidable. Strange sounds in the underbrush become more obvious. You fear there may be a cliff ahead.
But the lantern light shows you it’s safe to take one more step. Then one more. And then one more.
When you read a story, you start at the beginning and read all the way to the end (at least, normal people do…). You don’t know how it finishes when it starts. You only know one piece at a time.
One chapter at a time.
One page a time.
One word at a time.
I think that’s what C.S. Lewis was saying. Just like that lantern on the path. Just like life.
One step at a time.