You probably know the scene. The battle is almost lost. Some have died; others are badly wounded. It seems the underdog has finally succumbed. You did not win.
And then, the roar of the real victor comes forth, and up rises the master of the river to beat back the oppressors and hand the victory to those who could not win on their own.
Of course, this is the final scene of the great battle in the film version of Prince Caspian, and when I first saw it in the theater, I started to cry. The scene – like the books that inspired the films – speak to me so strongly of what is true and right and real in this world. I have no doubt that if all was as it should be here, bears would talk, we would have centaurs, and the “good guys” would always win – in fact, there wouldn’t even be any bad guys.
Yet, tonight, as Dad and I watched the movie, I kept thinking the TV adapters had skipped this scene. I was frustrated for most of the film because I kept thinking they had cut out the river god in favor of the more simplistic plot. I thought Aslan’s roar came much sooner than it did.
As I realized that I had wanted the victory too soon, I realized that I often hope for the same thing in life. I think the victory should come when I want it, not when it’s needed, not when it actually brings about the better outcome. I want my victories to be easy and quick, not painful and full of injury and death. Yet, if I will wait, of course the victory will be that much sweeter, that much deeper, that much more real.
I don’t live in a world where animals talk and centaurs battle on my side. But I do live in a world where I know the victory will come to me and with it will be the best of outcomes, maybe even a glimpse of the river god and a whisper of the lion.