After watching "The Hobbit" right before Christmas, I became interested once again in the tales of Middle Earth and the imagination of Tolkien. Erika surprised me with The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and we started watching it after Christmas, to our great delight. Last night, we finished The Two Towers and an exchange between Sam and Frodo at the end of the film struck me once again:
Frodo Baggins: I can't do this Sam.
Sam Gamgee: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.
Thinking deeply about this as I start a new year. We are in the midst of a great story of which we are not the Author. Something else is at work, both from the realm of darkness and the realm of light. The world will not go back to the way it was and that might be a good thing, because the way things were often seem better in our minds than the reality. However, we know that the Author of the Story is working in a million different ways to bring about the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, and that is worth fighting for as we work alongside of Him.
There is much to be done this year ... many trials, tribulations, and glorious days await. We are not just biding time going from one pleasure and banality to another. Rather, we are in the midst of a Great Story whose author is God and He is reconciling all things back to Himself through Christ. We have been written into that Story in significant ways. I wonder how the Story will play out for us today? What will we do today that leads to something unforeseen tomorrow? How will faithfulness or betrayal affect us and those that we are journeying alongside? What will we live for, fight for, and die for today? As C.S. Lewis once said, we will not meet mere mortals today, but creatures will one day become either a great horror or will become a great glory that we would be tempted to fall down and worship if we could see what will one day be revealed. Our actions help others, and ourselves, along to one end or another in ways large and small.
The Story is unfolding . . . what will we do about it? Turn back or keep going?
May we hold on to God who in all things works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.