I watched the Lord of the Rings a couple days ago (the second one). In it, the famous speech of Samwise rang true:
Sam: 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’ll 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 on to, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.
I think we all connect with this. There is something deep within the heart of humanity. We all want to be a hero or a princess. These stories still deeply impact us. We want to be someone who can do something that truly matters – live a life that people look back and say, “Tell me again the story of Mr. Frodo, dad! That one is my favorite.” Many of us, however, don’t actually live a life worth living. As Gandalf the gray had commented:
Frodo: “I wish none of this would have happened…”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times, but it’s not for them to decide. All that we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
We have to decide what to do with the time that is given us…
When times are hard, the truth will ring. Either we have the grit or we don’t. Personally, such quotes as these have affected me quite deeply. I believe that we are on the brink of perilous times, and I cannot live lightly. What I do now will affect my future tremendously. If I am to live as one who goes through the motions, keeping my head down and ignoring reality, what shall be my reaction when called upon to stand up for the oppressed, to stand and raise the banner for truth and justice? What am I doing today that will cause me to live for the glory of God tomorrow?
Because that is the point. What are we holding onto? What is it that will keep us until the end, saving us from being corrupted? It can only be that what we’re living for is greater than “me”. There is a purpose unto which we are called, and if we aren’t willing to embrace that purpose, then we will fall by the wayside as unmarked graves of the long forgotten. Our purpose is to see heaven and earth become one. Our hope is found in a future restoration of Israel, and the glory of God being displayed unto all nations. Our fight is against the heavenlies, and the spiritual powers of darkness that seek to steal, kill, and destroy the souls of men. Our passion is to be for the glory of God, the coming of the Redeemer to reestablish His throne upon the earth.
Our call is one of eschatology – the end times. While darkness will continue to get all the darker, we take seriously the words of John the apostle that “the darkness is passing, and the true light is already shining.” What does it mean to be a hero? It is deeply rooted in fervor for nothing less than the establishment of God on the earth. Until we see God, whether in life or in death, we shall not rest until He establish Zion. Our cause is greater than self. It is bigger than ministry. There is more expanse than church as we know it.
We are called to love.
As Tina Turner asks, “What’s love got to do, got to do with it?” It is in love that the whole of the law and prophets are summarized. We love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We love our neighbor as ourselves. It is in love that we see everything. While there will come a time when knowledge shall cease – for it is possible to know everything – and a time when there shall be no more prophecy – when all has been fulfilled, what shall we prophesy? – but love will remain forever. This is the nature of true fellowship with God.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love sheds tears.
Love offers all that we are.
Love is long suffering – forbearing all things.
Love does not boast. Ever.
Love is not rude. Ever.
Love is not self-seeking, but is always sacrificial.
Love is not easily angered.
Love desires fullness.
Love imparts gratitude.
Love always protects.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
Love always perseveres.
Against love nothing can stand. We are not called to be heroes in the sense that we are undefeatable. We are called to lay down our lives as a ransom for many. We are called to be martyrs, whether in our lifestyle or in our death. This is love. This is heroics. This is what it truly means to be a man. We are to live a life of love.
And what to you women who desire to be princesses? Which princess do you know of that didn’t have compassion, didn’t speak up against injustice, didn’t have moral fortitude to come against the darkness? What princess did you desire to be like that gave herself to anything and everything, whether good or evil? Is not the defining factor of a princess that they know who they are – who’s daughter they are – and they live and act like it? You’re authority in God is more than you know, and you need to realize your image is not what defines you (nor the man you’re with).
How can we battle the darkness if we’re still entrapped within it?
How can we pray for the Kingdom of God to be established upon the earth if we live by the principles of darkness?
How can we serve others if we’re still serving self?
To be a hero or princess is to sacrifice all for the cause that is greater than self: to sacrifice all to Christ. Our every waking moment should pant with covetousness for the kingdom of God. Unto newness of life we have come, and by that new life we live. All is for the greater purpose, by the eternal perspective. What does it matter to lose all in this life if we gain all in the next? It is that kind of life that matters. These are the men and women who get stories written about them. These are the heroes, even if only to an insignificant number.
In the end, what do you want for people to say of you?