My Precious: The Fellowship of the Ring (Part 1 of 3)
Unlike a lot of people, I don’t watch movies purely for entertainment’s sake. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a favorite pastime of mine but besides looking for cute boys and a fun storyline, I also watch for greater truths and lessons. It’s part of what makes movies an artistic medium for me. I think that they can reach and touch people in a way that nothing else can.
And anyone who knows me knows that the Lord of the Rings trilogy contains some one of my favorite movies of all time. In fact, I watch them pretty regularly and I always have the desire to start over once I’ve watched them through. I can’t get enough! Maybe it’s because they are epic in nature, maybe it’s because Orlando Bloom is in them or maybe it’s because they resonate deeply within me. Okay, so probably a combo feature there.
I watched the trilogy again this weekend while I was relaxing and wanted to share a few of the things I picked up on from each movie. Because J.R.R. Tolkien was a Christian, numerous parallels can be, and have been, drawn between his works and our beliefs.
Here are a few I came up with for your consideration:
1. Sacred pathways. You have probably learned by now that you can never predict the path to your calling. Frodo never saw himself going on a great journey. I never saw myself in Atlanta at this time in my life. I’m actually way off my ten-year plan past college. And my guess is that you are, too, at least to some degree. Plans are not a bad thing, but don’t get so set in them that you miss the adventure of a lifetime and the calling God has for your life. It may just be the most amazing surprise you could ever imagine.
2. Never go it alone. I’m a pretty independent person, but as long as I live, you will always hear me stress the importance of relationships. We were not meant to go through life alone. We were created in the image of the Father, Son and the Spirit – by community and for community.
3. Pushing the envelope. When you are serving God, expect to be pushed further than you’ve ever gone. When Frodo and Sam meet the edge of The Shire, Sam takes note that this is the farthest that he has ever been. We all know that this is such a short distance compared to what is ahead because we know there are two more movies. When God is at work, our limits will be tested and pushed beyond where we think we can go. It’s only at this point we realize that with His help, we can go much further because He has no limits.
4. Strange allies. Just like the nine in the Fellowship, some of the greatest experiences of my life have been with people that I never would’ve guessed. They may not even be people I would’ve picked. However, it is always important to be open because it may just be these people who get you where you need to go.
5. Wounds are inevitable. Whether it’s a physical wound like Frodo’s on Weathertop, an emotional wound like the loss of Gandalf, or some other type, being human means that hurt is unavoidable. Being able to appropriately deal with pain through grieving and support will make all the difference.
6. Size doesn’t matter. Galadriel told Frodo, “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” I agree. My little blip on history’s radar screen will be full of choices and consequences. My life will matter. My actions will affect others. So will yours.
7. Line? We all have a role to play in this epic adventure. Each of the nine brought something special and specific to the Fellowship. We each have a job to do and a calling to fulfill on this blue and green ball that no one else was uniquely designed for. If we don’t do it, who will? If you don’t know your gifts, strengths and talents, find them out so you can be the greatest you possible. (If you aren’t sure how to find them, ask me for resources.)
8. The seduction of power. Just like Boromir, too many great men and women have fallen as a result of the seduction of power. No one is immune. Draw close to Jesus, ask for accountability and check your motives to make sure you don’t become a casualty.
9. Decisions, decisions. “All you have left to do is to decide what to do with the time given to you,” Gandalf reminds Frodo. The same is true for each of us. We all have the same 24-hour period, even if our options differ. Make decisions that would bring honor and glory to God and you won’t go wrong. When you do, remind yourself that after each dark night will come another bright dawn.
10. Separate ways, same mission. At the end of the first movie, the nine is separated into several different groups. For some it was a conscious decision, for others it was forced. Yet even though their paths took different turns than they originally thought they would, they still all had the same mission. Their allegiance was still to each other and the greater purpose.
Well, that’s my recap for the first movie. Take a bathroom break, grab your popcorn and stay tuned for thoughts on The Two Towers!
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