Thursday, February 15, 2007

Chosen By God

"'I do really wish to destroy it!' cried Frodo. 'Or, well, to have it destroyed. I am not made for perilous quests. I wish I had never seen the Ring! Why did it come to me? Why was I chosen?'

"'Such questions cannot be answered,' said Gandalf. 'You may be sure that it was not for any merit that others do not possess: not for power or wisdom, at any rate. But you have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.'"
~ The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Ring has a dark history. It had used different people in an attempt to get back to its master. Yet something happened the Ring had no control over, it had abandoned Gollum in hopes of being picked up by a goblin, but instead, at just the right moment the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins discovers it. There is a higher power at work than the force of evil.

In the long history of the Ring, only Bilbo gives it up by his own choice. All the other beings in possession of the Ring had lost it, and even Frodo, at the end, has it taken from him. Yet, in the choice of Bilbo to let go of the Ring makes way for Frodo to become the next Ring Bearer.

Frodo felt ill suited for the task which had to be done. He didn't believe that he had what it took. And Gandalf agrees. Frodo was not chosen because of his mighty talents, but because of the strength of his character. It was the same reason Bilbo was chosen before him. Gandalf urges Frodo to use the strength, the wits, and the heart he has to carry out the mission.

God has chosen every Christians for a task. Generically that task is to make God famous throughout the world; to proclaim His love and forgiveness to the nations. Specifically it is discovered as we walk with God each day.

To be honest we are ill suited for the task God has laid before us. We don't have what it takes to change the world. Just like Frodo, we look at ourselves and think we are not made for this type of work. The task is too big for us.

What God is interested in is that we use what He has given to us and leave the rest up to Him. We go about our lives believing that we can make a difference in the world in which we live. It might seem like we have no chance at making a difference, but God wants us to act like we will.

That is what Frodo does. He goes on this adventure as if it were possible for him to succeed, and God shows up to make it happen. To miss the theological content of The Lord of the Rings I believe misses the story Tolkien wrote.

Here is what we can take away from Frodo's journey. The job we have before us is huge and we are small in comparison. God wants us to live from the strength He has given to us and believe we can change the world. When we do this we then experience God in a whole new way. A way that is not possible from study and prayer.

9 He saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our own works but according to his own purpose and the grace that was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. 10 Now, however, it has been revealed through the coming of our Savior Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and through the gospel has brought life and release from death into full view. 11 For the sake of this gospel I was appointed to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. ~ 2 Timothy 1:9-11; ISV

God has chosen us. Even though we don't feel up to the challenge, if we go forward, He will experience His power as He carries out His plan for our lives and for the world.


Anonymous said...

This was an excellent example I am going to share it with my daughter and grandchildren. As well as some people on my job. The Lord is truly using you, sometimes we never know what impact we have on others when ow write or speak but please know that people are listening to what you say as the Lord has lead me to your web-site. The holiness series was a blessing. May the blessing of the Lord be upon you.

Paul said...

Thanks for the comment, your kind words came at just the right time. Thank you.

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