I have yet to watch the Lord Of The Rings movies.
Nor have I watched Titanic, but that is a whole different story for another day.
Simply put, I like to read the book before I watch the movie. Honors Sophomore English required us to read The Hobbit which, at the age of 16, nearly killed me. The thought of having to read more of the slow moving, detail orientated plot about small men with hairy feet which requires pages and pages of maps to be able to literally know where in the story you were had zero appeal.
So read, I didn’t.
One of my goals with my 52 Book Project is to read great books, epics, books that shape culture and tell great stories. I found myself being so bored with all the leadership, learning, and you-should-be-better books; I mean there is only so much one woman can implement in a month.
When the library let me know The Fellowship Of The Ring had arrived, I was not very excited.
The 4 pages of foreword nearly killed me and I wondered what the heck I was doing, but I dove in – desperate for a great story to immerse myself in.
I found what I was looking for.
Well told story teaches you about yourself and the world. As I bumbled around the names of the characters and places and wrapped my mind around Saruman vs. Sauron, I found myself caught up in the great epic and was reminded of four important truths.
Truth #1 – Doing what only you can do doesn’t ensure safety.
“It is going to be very dangerous, Sam. It is already dangerous. Most likely neither of us will come back.”
~Frodo, page 87
- Isn’t this true of nearly every hard task we are called to do with our lives?
We never come back to the place we were before, it doesn’t exist. Great journeys of daring and doing what only you must do changes the world, both for yourself and those around you.
Truth #2 – Who you journey with matters.
“It all depends on what you want,” put in Merry. “You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thin – to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours – closer than you keep it yourself. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo. Anyway; there it is. We know most of what Gandalf has told you. We know a good deal about the Ring. We are horribly afraid – but we are coming with you; or following you like hounds.”
~ Page 105
- A true friend is worth more than their weight in gold.
We need to go through life with other people who will fight the fight with us, who have the same purpose and heart to conquer that which needs conquering. As I read this story I was deeply grateful for my fellow sojourners who stick with me with a steadfast Sam Gamgee-esque quality.
Truth #3 - Judging others when you have not traveled their dark road negatively impacts your heart.
“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens,” said Gimli.
“Maybe,” said Elrond, “but let him not vow to walk in the dark who had not seen the nightfall.”
“Yet sworn word may strengthen quaking heart,” said Gimli.
“Or break it,” said Elrond. “Look not too far ahead! But go now with good hearts!
~ Page 281
- Look not too far ahead.
Yes know where you are going, but don’t make all the decisions until you get to the decision point. Most times we have to travel farther, learn more, and become wiser before we can make the decision. Every single day living with a good heart is up to me and going with a good heart keeps me steadfast as I travel my journey.
Truth #4 – It is harder NOT to do the hard thing you’re supposed to do.
“Oh, Mr. Frodo, that’s hard!” said Sam shivering. “That’s hard, trying to go without me and all. If I hadn’t guessed right, where would you be now?”
“Safely on my way.”
“Safely!” said Sam. “All alone and without me to help you? I couldn’t have borne it, it’d have been the death of me.”
“It would be the death of you to come with me, Sam,” said Frodo, “and I could not have borne that.”
“Not as certain as being left behind,” said Sam.
“But I am going to Mordor.”
“I know that well enough, Mr. Frodo. Of course you are. And I’m coming with you.”
~ Page 406
- May we not avoid the things we must do just because they are hard.
It is our job to go through the hard things and continue on, not avoid them. Many of us are on the path to Mordor and find ourselves sitting on the side of the road while adversity tries to kill us – and we let it.
Tell me I am not the only one who has not read these books.
The second book, Two Towers, is on hold at the library as is the BlueRay of The Fellowship Of The Ring. I’m looking forward to finally being able to watch this movie!
I leave you with the words of Sam, “Of course you are. And I’m coming with you.”