Are We There Yet? The Two Towers (Part 2 of 3)
This is part two in my series of lessons I learned from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, one of my favorite movie series of all time. I’m a huge fan of the movies but don’t think I’ve necessarily reached geek status because I couldn’t get through the books except on audio. The Hobbit was so much easier to read! But if I’m lying to myself, I’m okay with that, too.
Funny story on that note: When I saw the first movie in the theater, there were some “true” fans sitting behind me. When the Fellowship entered Rivendell and the camera panned back to show the kingdom, a guy behind me whispered to his friend, “It’s more beautiful than I imagined!” True story; still makes me laugh.
Now on with it…
- Middle men. Being stuck in the middle is never cupcakes and butterflies. This is my favorite of all three movies for a number of reasons: the stage is already set, the tension is great and the stakes are high. We know where we’ve been and we know where we’re headed. We’re just not quite sure what the road to getting there looks like. I feel this way many times in life. It’s not an easy place to be, but it is familiar.
- Two-faced. I think Andy Serkis does a masterful job of playing Gollum. And his monologue in this movie is particularly brilliant. I believe we all have a little bit of Gollum in us. We all struggle between wanting to serve and be the master. We all crave power. We all believe the lies Satan tells us sometimes. The Apostle Paul even wrote about it in Romans 7:7-25 and it’s as fitting then as it is now. Gollum let it destroy him in the end. I pray we make better choices.
- A second look. When Gandalf reappears, he is no longer Gandalf the Gray but instead Gandalf the White. Though he is different in some ways, he is still the same. The Fellowship recognizes him and it comforts them. We must remember that there are times when God can look different than He did before in our eyes but He is still the same, mighty God. And that is a comfort. His Truth doesn’t change.
- Talking trees. Come on, you know I couldn’t go without some sort of environmental message! Respect for creation is respect for the Creator. And I think we can clearly see that it’s not good to piss off nature or it will revolt.
- The Battle of Helm’s Deep. At some point we will all have our own Helm’s Deep, a great conflict that will be known as a turning point in our lives. This battle was extended because the King of Rohan thought that the fortress was impenetrable. He didn’t know his weakness, and therefore, lost many more lives and almost lost the battle. The key for us is to know our weaknesses. As our friend G.I. Joe would say, “Knowing is half the battle.” We’ll certainly have more of an advantage if know where the Enemy can strike us. It’s just good strategy.
- Director’s Cut. Peter Jackson has a cameo in each of his movies, which I think is pretty fun. Be sure to look for him in each one. If you know what he looks like, you’ll easily spot him even if the shots are usually just for a second or so. Though directors are usually behind-the-scenes, sometimes they can pop up where we least expect them, in front of the camera. But it certainly doesn’t mean they’ve taken their eyes off the big picture. The same holds true for God. We’ll see the Director if we are looking for him and know how to recognize Him.
- Be careful not to burn bridges. The Elves showed up just in time to fight alongside the army of men. The captain said it was to honor an old alliance. So, the lesson here is to never burn bridges. You never know when you may need to call on an old friend.
- Say it again, Sam. Okay, so Sam’s speech at the end of the second movie is one of my favorites in cinematic history. I know, that’s saying a lot – especially as many movies as I’ve seen. But I love it so much, that I usually watch it at least twice when I’m going through the movies. This time, I watched it three times so I’m using it for points eight through ten. Number eight is about doubt. Sam wonders how good can reemerge after evil has shown itself. After the horrors that happen around us every day, it’s perfectly normal to have doubt. In fact, blind faith is just dumb – mindless. God tells us to test the spirits in 1 John 4:1 to make sure they are of God.
- Plenty of chances. Sam says that the characters in the greatest stories are heroic because they were given plenty of chances to turn back, but didn’t. There will always be hardships but our character is shown by our choices. People will see our faith more by how we handle hard times than anything else. Our greatest sermon is our life story.
- Worth fighting for. Sam ends his monologue with the same positive outlook that he is known for in the trilogy. He declares that heroes decide to take risks because they see good in the world and are determined to fight for it. I think this is a pretty good way to live. Simple, but not always easy.
Okay, kids, I hope you are enjoying reading these entries as much as I’m enjoying writing them. Gosh, I love these movies! Only one more part to go before we reach the end of this journey – stay tuned!
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