Tag Archives: Tolkien

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.”

20140729_155233

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

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,

moldenhauer signature3