Lessons from Sam and LOTR: “There’s some good in this world.”

The things we do for love.

Some of them aren’t so hard. My sweet Sam, still recovering from surgery and growing increasingly tired of being tied to crutches, requested a Lord of the Rings Marathon. Extended version, of course.

After 12 plus hours of immersion in the trilogy thoughts continue to surface.

Yes, I’ve read the book. Watched the abridged versions of the Peter Jackson movies. Even watched the extended movies all in one day before. (Sam’s request one year for his birthday.) But with something as deep as Lord of the Rings it seems there is always a new take-away.

One of the things I’m pondering is this scene:

Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.

Sam: 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 onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.

When I watched this part of the movie, what jumped out at me is “There’s some good in this world.”

Not great revelation, but don’t we sometimes forget?

Life can grow dark. My mind can dwell on the darkness. Perhaps this tendency fueled my journey of recording 1,000 gifts. 

Writing my gratitude all over the basement walls changed me. Not that I live every, single moment in gratitude.

But I look for the good. Notice it more often.

Like Sam I know good exists. The darkness must pass. The sun will shine out all the clearer because of the darkness.

20140729_153036I read recently that perseverance alone is not enough. That true persistence is waiting on God with joyful anticipation.

Much of my life has been persevering with clenched fists instead of joyful anticipation. But maybe I’m learning. And part of my new understanding is that to embrace joy in the hard times I must remember there is good.

It shows up in simple places. The beautiful green after rain. The deep-throated guffaws of my boys, now all young men, shoveling down dinner while they crack their jokes. The feel of my husband’s hand upon my waist as I drift into sleep. Fresh strawberries. Friendship.

His gifts are everywhere. Even in the shadowed times there is good. Sometimes it’s a fight in my heart to see it.

But good is worth fighting for.

Until next time,

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5 thoughts on “Lessons from Sam and LOTR: “There’s some good in this world.”

  1. Kelly Grace July 30, 2014 at 7:19 am Reply

    Hi Paula,
    I’ve also seen how powerful gratitude can be. I happened to pick up Ann Voskamp’s book before a trip and it was a beautiful reminder to give thanks and open my eyes to see God’s blessings.
    I happened to read an article by Jeff Goins over the weekend and I thought it might encourage you to keep telling your story through your blog.



    • Paula Moldenhauer July 30, 2014 at 3:27 pm Reply

      Thank you, Kelly. I look forward to reading it!

      • Paula Moldenhauer July 30, 2014 at 4:11 pm

        What a powerful piece by Jeff! Thank you. It helped me process more deeply what impacted me and why in this scene. Another interesting aside is that I pre-scheduled a post for Friday that uses a different LOTR clip to further my thinking on this one–and it draws some similar conclusions to those Jeff drew. I’m book-marking Jeff’s blog. Had heard of it before, but I think I need to follow more closely. Thank you!

  2. mariekeates July 30, 2014 at 8:40 am Reply

    What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. There will always be dark times, but, without them, we wouldn’t appreciate the light. Not always easy to remember though 🙂

  3. Paula Moldenhauer July 30, 2014 at 3:28 pm Reply

    What a beautiful quote. Thank you. Hope you and your family are doing well. You have much to walk through right now. Praying for you this morning.

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