Lessons from Gandalf and Lord of the Rings: “Decide what to do with the Time”

I slammed my journal shut.

It happened a year ago beside a mountain stream. Sprinkles started, slowing my pen and smudging the pages. I stomped to the car and cowered, away from the rain.

It felt like my life. Another storm raining on my parade.

Much of what I had been through I wished had “never come to me.” There was a whisper hinting at how this life I live is part of a grander scheme, but even the hidden dreams within scared me. Seemed unattainable.

Often I’ve wish my own personal “ring” had never come to me.

Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: 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 to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.

Lately I’m contemplating life change. Some days I’m excited, free, chomping at the bit to move forward.

Other days I want to ignore the things I believe have “come to me” as Frodo described it. I supposed I feel much as he did. Small and insignificant in comparison to the task. Concerned I don’t have it in me. Not sure of the cost or my ability to pay it.

But this week Gandalf spoke to me from the screen, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us,” and I heard those words for me. For this time. For the things I’m contemplating doing, the things that call to me much as the ring called to Frodo that ask if I am willing to carry the burden.

All of middle earth depended on Frodo’s yes. Thankfully the whole world doesn’t depend on mine.

But what if fifty people or 100 or even one is stronger, freer, safer because I write more bravely, speak more candidly, share my Truth?

I suppose the courage comes in part from Gandalf also, “There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.”


Soaking wet? So what!

If the Force for Good calls me forward, how can I be silent?

Today I was out walking when I got caught in the rain. At first I ran from tree to tree, rushing through the pelting wet to shelter. Eventually, though, I held my head high, let the water soak me. I didn’t hide.

I enjoyed the storm.

I hope it is a metaphor for the growth of the last year. I hope that I can hold my head high and weather the storm. Let the rain trickle down my face and receive it as refreshment instead of assault. That instead of allowing hard times to rain on my parade I can keep marching forward.

Until next time,

paula cropped


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21 thoughts on “Lessons from Gandalf and Lord of the Rings: “Decide what to do with the Time”

  1. paulfg August 1, 2014 at 12:55 pm Reply

    Paula, I love it when you plop doubts and hopes and real on the page! And I don’t know why!! 🙂

    “If the Force for Good calls me forward, how can I be silent?”

    Have this theory that God doesn’t count like we do. Got this other theory that God’s sense of direction is not the same as ours either. That maybe stop, back, forward, up, down, back to front and inside out – all of that is his “forwards”. Yet – even saying that – it’s the “assault” mentality I revert to so easily!

    • Paula Moldenhauer August 1, 2014 at 6:44 pm Reply

      Maybe you like it because it’s just real. lol Yes, working out of the assault mentality is a trick for me. But I’m growing.

  2. Karla August 1, 2014 at 10:01 pm Reply

    We are having such a drought here and I sigh at the mention of rain. Makes true what I read last week, “Someone is praying for what you are taking for granted.”

  3. Rebekah August 2, 2014 at 5:03 am Reply

    Yes. Write more brave, bold. We all need to hear more of such. I have been thinking a lot about discerning how personal is too personal to be on a blog.
    Being too real or open almost feels like some form of adultery. And yet, I feel like people need honest words. So where is the balance?

    • Paula Moldenhauer August 4, 2014 at 11:58 pm Reply

      Absolutely! It is truly a struggle to discern those lines. As I’m processing your comments what comes to me is that all of life is really about the moment by moment direction of the Holy Spirit. Living in relationship with God, moving forward in freedom while seeking Him and trusting Him to lead us. I think we as humans have made walking with HIm into a religion of dos and don’ts and principles when He is asking us to know Him, seek His counsel, glean His wisdom for individual situations instead of looking to some prescribed formula. In Christian culture I think sometimes we take what God gave to one person, one situation, or one church and turn it into a formula for the next success story instead of slowing down to discern what is HIS direction for THIS time, this situation, this person. And that same thing applies to our personal lives and this question. What God says for one season is not necessarily for the next. That is one of the big questions I have right now. Is He asking me to start speaking more candidly about some things I’ve been silent about? Thank you for helping me process further, my friend.

  4. Ruth August 2, 2014 at 7:49 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on A Heroine's Journey and commented:
    I loved ‘The Fellowship of the Rings’ and this scene in particular. Though it isn’t in the books, I feel it completely captures the encouraging spirit of Tolkien’s Trilogy.

    • Paula Moldenhauer August 5, 2014 at 12:00 am Reply

      Yes, some of the artistic liberties taken were within the heart of the series even if they weren’t direct from the books. I was sad, however, that even in the extended versions the movies didn’t capture the depth of Aragorn’s role in the healing rooms. I’m sure there wasn’t time, but I loved that part of the book so much!

  5. Dave Malnes August 2, 2014 at 11:21 pm Reply

    Sometimes the Lord rains on our parade. How we respond is what makes the difference. BTW that is also one of my favorite scenes from LOTR.

    • Paula Moldenhauer August 5, 2014 at 12:01 am Reply

      Yes! Great scene. I’m glad even when I respond poorly to the rain that HE keeps drawing me to Himself. His is so good and patient.

  6. seeingdeep1 August 4, 2014 at 3:13 pm Reply

    I love the Lord of the Rings and I love this blog! Thanks for finding me so I could find you!

    • Paula Moldenhauer August 5, 2014 at 12:01 am Reply

      Loved finding you! Your post today was fantastic!

      • seeingdeep1 August 5, 2014 at 12:37 am

        Thank you so very much! God is amazing!

  7. Cynthia August 5, 2014 at 2:47 am Reply

    It feels good to me to surrender to the rain. To accept it and fully experience it.

  8. Jonathan Caswell August 20, 2014 at 1:34 am Reply

    Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  9. Sherry Bibb September 27, 2014 at 3:38 pm Reply

    Excellent! I look forward to reading more.

  10. messagefromthefield September 28, 2014 at 5:41 pm Reply

    I read this post on A Heroine’s Journey. I to have been thinking a lot lately about the journey ahead the things that have come to me. I certainly would not have chosen most of them, but I realize that to offset the evil that is in the world I have to be willing to answer the call to surrender to the other other forces that I can be used in my part of the world. Excellent writing and based on one of my favorite books of all time! Glad I found your blog look forward to reading in the future.

    • Paula Moldenhauer September 28, 2014 at 8:41 pm Reply

      Thank you for your encouraging comment. Sounds like we have kindred spirits. I’ll be coming over to check out your blog, too!

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