Prince Caspian and the Importance of Humility
“Welcome, Prince,” said Aslan. “Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the kingship of Narnia?”
“I-I don’t think I do, sir,” said Caspian. “I’m only a kid.”
“Good,” said Aslan. “If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been a proof that you were not. Therefore, under us and under the High King, you shall be king of Narnia.”
I’m not sure why, but I think about this short exchange of dialogue from C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian all the time. Perhaps it’s because I have little moments like that in my life when I think, “Goodness gracious, there’s no way I’m mature enough and ready enough to handle something like this.” And then “something like this” happens to me anyway, and it turns out I can handle it just fine.
Humility is such an important virtue, but it’s also a virtue that is incredibly difficult to learn. But I think the very ability to be humble in all areas of your life is one of the best ways out there to be ready for what life has to throw at you. Humility is the ability to listen to the advice of those who are older and wiser and have gone through more of life than you. It is the ability to admit it and apologize when you’ve wronged someone, and it is the ability to constantly be aware of your own shortcomings.
I think Paul shares with us the same lesson Aslan shared with Caspian in this verse:
“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” ~ Romans 12:3
Nurturing humility, as Paul calls us to do in this verse, is one of the best things you can do if you’re going to work on self-improvement. It’s such a hard thing to do, because it involves giving up pride, but it is also necessary if you want to become a person who is known more for having a generous heart than having all the right answers in the world and no humility to temper them with.
And that’s the last thing I’d want to be known for.