Friday, February 20, 2009

What to do? (LOTR, Part I)

Hey all, I know this isn't necessarily a Bible study, but I posted this on my blog and thought I should share it.  here goes...

As those of you who faithfully read my sometimes weird and crazy posts know, I have been rereading Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.  And, if any of you have looked at my "quotations" page, you know that I have found a good-sixed bit of beautiful language, unsightful truths, and just plain funniness (I don't care if that isn't a word) in the first 150 pages of the novel.  Several in particular stuck out to me...serious ones, that is.

I thought I'd share this one with you.  To give you some background (for non-Tolkien people), in this particular section, Gandalf (the wizard, not a sorcerer, but more like a...I don't know) and Frodo (a hobbit) are sitting in Bag End (Frodo's home) and discussing many serious things, such as the Dark Lord Sauron, his One Ring, and ancient Middle-Earth-ian lore.  There, if that wasn't confusing enough...

'Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again.'

'I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo.

'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times.  But that is not for them to decide.  All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'

Don't we all, at some point in our lives, utter Frodo's very words?  "I wish it need not have happened in my time..."  We feel hopelessly lost, or just plain discouraged.  We don't know what to do.  Or if she should even do anything at all.  Luckily for us, though, we have Gandalf to answer us.

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

So what do we do?  We can sit on our bums and sulk and feel sorry for life, or we can do something.  But what?  What can we possibly do?  I mean, we're not talking some superstar, or some famous athlete here!  We're just little old Ellie, or Tiny Tim, or etc.  We're not even Frodo Baggins, hobbit ordinaire (yes, ordinaire).  We don't have a One Ring to destroy, a Balrog to fence with, or a Nazgul to chop up.  So what can we do?

Have you ever heard Michael Card's song "A Fragile Stone"?  I won't list the entirety of the lyrics, but these four lines stuck out to me.  (Hang with me, here, I'll get back to Frodo and Mr. Wizard in a sec.)

A stone that is dropped in the water
Will vanish and soon disappear
But the waves that move out from the center
In time they will reach everywhere

I don't know about you, but those are pretty "duh" words.  Everyone knows that when you drop a stone in a pond, there are gonna be ripples spreading soon enough.  But do you know that you could be that stone?  No, I don't mean that someone could dump you in a pool, I don't mean that.  I mean that you don't have to be a hobbit with a magic Ring to make a difference iin the world.  A little smile could be your way of changing it, or a wave or a kind note of thanks.

So this all circles back to "what to do?"  When you see someone sitting alone at school, at church, at youth group, at something else, are you going to laugh and point at that person? turn away? or are you going to "WWJD?" yourself and go sit with them?  If you do the latter, you're being a stone falling into a placid pool (the world's the pool, Ok?)  You're saying "Hey, I'm tired of sitting around moping because life sucks.  I'm going to go against the grain and stand out.  I'm going to be in the world and not of it.  I'm going to show God that I care about His children, whoever they may be, and I'm going to sit with that kid, no matter what he/she has been dubbed."

So, even though Satan, after a defeat and a respite, is coming back in bigger force, you're going to be like Frodo and do something about it.  (And no, please don't go looking for Orcs and Mount Dooms, Ok?  :P )

I don't know about you, but I've decided that I'm going to let God do what He wants to do with me.  That's what I'm going to do.  How about you?


PS See how many people we can get to comment on this...and take action afterward!  (YCF buddies, here's your chance!) 

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