Saturday, January 18, 2014

7 Things the Bible, LOTR and other Books Taught Me About Life, Friendship and Adventure

I woke up tonight, around 6:00pm, seeing visions of some scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies. The visions went along with mixed feelings of deep sorrow for some people who are special to me but I’ve lost along the way, and also a deep feeling of gratitude towards God for the gift of life that is full of adventure. Afterwards, I found myself writing a prayer enumerating the reasons why I am so thankful for this life. My first few words are “mountains to climb” and “seas to cross”. The next second, I was brought to thinking about the book entitled “Wild at Heart” written by John Eldredge, which I read around 3 year ago. In that book, he said that in every man’s heart is a battle to fight, a beauty to rescue and an adventure to live.

The Bible, Tolkien’s works, the movie adaptations of them, Eldredge’s book and Coelho’s The Alchemist are my inspirations in writing this blog post. I really believe that life is a great adventure and I am more than thankful that the God that we have is a God who gave us the freedom to write the chapter of our lives. With His guidance, I hope that we’ll be able to write a great story out of it.

1. A treasure to find

Each one of us is looking for a treasure. If Gollum has his “Precious” and Santiago of The Alchemist had his riches found in the Pyramids of Egypt, we also have our own. Some are looking for success. Some are looking for people to love them. Some are looking for material things. But certainly, deep inside each one of us is a longing for something. The world has a lot to say about how we can fill this hole inside each one of us. I have also heard about stories of people who, after finding the thing that they considered “treasure”, became disappointed after realizing that the treasure they have found was not the treasure that will ultimately bring them happiness. I believe that the real treasures are far more than any success, person or material wealth. It has to be a lot bigger than us. In the Bible, Jesus was very straightforward in telling the people to store up treasures in heaven that no moth nor rust can destroy. This means, the real treasures we are looking for aren’t found here on earth. I believe that the sooner that we realize this, the happier we will be.

2. A friend to trust

Samwise Gamgee will always be one of my favorite fictional characters. His loyalty to his friend, Frodo Baggins, is incomparable. I will never forget the scene that took place in Cirith Ungol where Frodo chose to believe in Gollum instead of Sam which led to Frodo telling Sam the infamous line “Go home.” Despite all the challenges, Sam remained faithful. In fact, Frodo and Sam have so many good scenes together, which made the LOTR saga a story of friendship, as much as it is a story of adventure. There was also a scene where Sam blurted out the infamous line, “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” He said this after Frodo almost killed him even after saving the latter’s life. Sam is a picture of a true friend who will stick till the end. Because of him, I am resolved that life is an adventure that must not be lived alone. We need a friend like Sam who will remain faithful and forgiving towards us even after showing them unkindness after unkindness after unkindness.

Relive the Frodo and Same moments with me by watching these two unforgettable scenes that have both of them.

“Go home.”

“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”

3. A mentor to listen to

Each one of us is a student of life and we will always need someone bigger, stronger and wiser than us. Boasting in ourselves that we don’t need a mentor or a teacher is utter foolishness. We need to be taught. We need to learn. The world is too dangerous for people whose minds are open only to themselves. We need a mentor who will call us to adventure. We need a mentor who will help us think better than how we used to. We need a mentor who will teach us how to conquer our own evils. We need a mentor who will raise us up when we’re down. We need a mentor who will point us to the truth.

I pray that each one of us will have a Gandalf the Grey in our lives.

Here is a memorable scene that has Frodo and him.

4. A battle to fight

Who was Frodo’s real enemy? Many people might say Sauron or Gollum. But I say, Frodo’s real enemy was himself. The presence of the ring that corrupted the hearts of many was very powerful that it had revealed a lot of things about Frodo and the people around him. Even until the end, letting go of the ring in Mount Doom became very difficult for him, despite that fact that it took them ages and many lives were sacrificed just to get them there.

The “ring” taught me a lot of things about power and the hearts of men. I realized that power corrupts power and the thirst for it can never be satisfied. The lust for it can turn us into something that we don’t want to be – the “Gollum” that lives inside each one of us. I also realized that the “ring” in our lives will certainly find its way to us and we can’t just wish that it did not happen just like what Frodo told Gandalf. But when it comes, we will always have a choice – to destroy it completely or to be destroyed by it.

The greatest enemy in our lives is within us – the evil within us. We can’t fight it alone. We need the “fellowship” to stand beside us. But a day will come that we shall certainly fight it and on that day we shall decide between what’s good and what’s not.

Here’s the famous scene called The Crack of Doom.

Our fight is also the fight of our friends. We can’t do it alone. Imagine if Sam was not present in this scene.

5. An adventure to live

John Eldredge said in his book Wild at Heart that deep inside every man’s heart is an adventure to live. I totally agree with him. I believe that it is the heart for adventure that made people like Columbus and Magellan able to brave the deepest seas and strongest storms just to see what's more out there. Deep inside each one of us is an adventurer and a traveler wanting to see the beauty of the world where we live. We are hardwired by God to love beauty and to long for memorable experiences. Our parents need not teach us that when we were young.

6. A story to tell

Inside each one of us is a Tolkien wanting to tell the world about the “saga” of our lives. We tell our stories every day – to the people around us, to our closest friends through word of mouth, mobile phones, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and others. We are all storytellers and the best stories that we tell are our own.

We post via social media because we want the world to know about stories. And in return, we “Like” the posts of others because their stories speak to our hearts and we want them to know that we are listening to them. We are all storytellers and we want an audience for ourselves as much as others do.

Thank God all the tools that the storytellers of today need are made more available as more stories are being told and more listeners are willing to listen every day.

Let’s reminisce once again how the whole LOTR saga began.

As well as how it ended.

“Farewell, my brave Hobbits. My work is now finished. Here at last, on the shores of the sea comes the end of our Fellowship. I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.”


7. A home to return to

At the end of every day’s fight, it is a comfort to know that we have a home to return to. I will never forget the scene showing Frodo and Sam in Mount Doom right after the ring was destroyed. In the middle of melting lavas, they were both thinking about The Shire. I realized that as much as there are adventures to live deep within our hearts, there is also a home - a safe haven - to return to at the end of the day.

Let’s take a look at that scene one more time.

Thank you for reading.

Disclaimer: The videos are not mine.

1 comment:

  1. True, Madi, I believe in everything here ^^ I think I'll read Wild at Heart, haven't read that yet! :D Thank you, this reminded me of the dreams and adventures I once hoped for :)