The Magician’s Nephew gives Narnia a creation story, but the story interestingly does not start with the beginning of Narnia. Polly and Digory were transported to a type of world between the worlds by Digory’s uncle Andrew, and once they are there, they find their way to a dreary world called Charn. In that world, they stumble upon a bell with a unique verse written on it.
“Make your choice, adventurous Stranger;
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had.”
Digory believes the rhyme wholeheartedly.
“We can’t get out of it now. We shall always be wondering what else would have happened if we had struck the bell. I’m not going home to be driven mad by always thinking of that. No fear!”
However, you have to wonder whether or not the poem was actually true. Is it absolutely necessary that the only options were to strike the bell or essentially go insane wondering about what could have happened?
That doesn’t really seem to be true for Polly. She is eager to simply go away and pretend that nothing ever happened. She didn’t want to invite any potential danger, so she preferred to try to find their way back to earth. This seemingly prophetic verse doesn’t really seem to be holding true for her.
Digory wanted to hit the bell though. Even if that rhyme had not been there, I have a feeling he would have wanted to hit the bell. His curiosity would have gotten the best of him even if there had not been that explicit prohibition not to hit it.
I think we all have that tendency. We know that something might bring about a bad consequence, but we don’t really believe it will happen to us. Of course it might be dangerous to drive recklessly, and we know that many bad things happen to people all the time on the road when they drive in that way. We think that we are the exception to the rule, and we get into trouble as a result.
It turns out that this decision had long-term consequences for Narnia that brought about great evil. There was indeed actual danger that came to be specifically because Digory made the decision to hit the bell.
When we think about our own lives then, shouldn’t we look for warning labels and listen to them? The Bible has all kinds of excellent advice about how to avoid traps that we all can fall into. Outside of Jesus Christ, no person in the Bible is without fault, and they illustrate many situations that really are not all that much different than what we see today. Human nature is the same today as it was thousands of years ago. We’re still sinners after all. Therefore, let’s take advantage of the warning signs that we see and take the third option. We don’t need to do something dangerous or always wonder about what would have happened if we did.
Instead, we can know that trusting God allows us to avoid certain things that would have been harmful to us and be secure in the knowledge that our God has given us His Word to help avoid pitfalls.
 CS Lewis, “The Magician’s Nephew” in The Chronicles of Narnia Complete 7-Book Collection with Bonus Book: Boxen (New York: HarperCollins, 2005), Kindle Locations 881-885, Kindle Edition.
 Ibid., Kindle Locations 887-889.