Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Ring Bearer

What ring do you bear? Do you carry many rings with you through your life? Do certain rings call out to you, tempting you to give in to a sinful seduction that they represent? I was watching The Two Towers last night, the second movie in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I realized how much we are ALL like Frodo.
Frodo, and humble hobbit, has been selected to carry this Ring to an ultimate destination in order to save Middle Earth. Many others have come along side him in order to help and protect him as he does this. Most importantly, he has his best friend Sam.
In one of the last scenes in The Two Towers, Frodo and Sam have been taken captive and ushered to another city being ravaged by war and despair. Frodo, as has happened many times on this journey, feels the Ring (that hangs on a chain around his neck) being followed; traced by those who hunt it and its power. His face is washed in a haunting look of “vacancy”…a look that tells us he is no longer able to make a conscious and wise decision. Frodo, entranced by the power of the Ring, walks out of protection and stands completely vulnerable to the Ringwraiths (dark, foreboding characters whom have already fallen victim to their Rings and The Dark Lord Sauron).
Sam sees Frodo lose control of his senses, and follows him to where he stands unprotected from the Ringwraiths. He pleads with Frodo to break away from the trance that has overtaken him and tries to pull him back into protection. In response to Sam’s, Frodo draws his sword and holds it to Sam’s neck…
And this is where I caught my breath…
How many times have I done that to Jesus?
Whatever Ring I carry, how many times have I let its sweet seduction entrance me? How many times have I wanted to “give in?” How many times have I decided that the lust, or greed, or power that the Ring possesses feels better than the “high road” that I find myself choosing? How many times has Jesus pleaded with me, “Don’t give in! Fight for what’s right! Look toward the ultimate prize, and not just what feels good now!”
You see, when Frodo “puts on the Ring”…when he wears it on his finger…he becomes invisible to everyone except for the evil eye that is watching him…The Dark Lord Sauron. When Frodo dons the Ring, the Eye of Sauron is immediately drawn to him, and knows his location and his weakness.
So it is with Satan. When we give in to our weaknesses, when we give in to the temptations that we carry, we become invisible to those around us, but fall even weaker at the feet of our Tempter. Suddenly, Satan has found a foothold and he knows just where he can get to us and cause us to fall.
And isn’t it true that when our weaknesses are pointed out, when our temptations—that we are perfectly aware of, but LOVE to defend—are thrown out in front of our faces…we draw our swords and threaten those who we love the most??? All they want to do is help us, and yet, we lash out and try to slice them down before they can show us how we have fallen prey to temptation—how we have relished the seduction of sin.
I don’t have any answers to this problem we have as we carry our Rings through life and hope to eventually save Middle Earth. All I know is that I have always wondered as I watched Frodo on his journey in these movies…What does that Ring mean???? And I finally figured it out last night. After watching the movie dozens of times, I finally saw that look on his face and realized…THAT IS ME! I am Frodo. I am carrying a Ring that seduces and haunts me. I am called to a task much greater than I believe I am capable of, yet it still is mine…my burden to bear, my journey to take. And, dear God, I need mercy on this journey, and I need friends who will uphold me and support me, but I also need friends who will call me out and say, “No! You are better than this! You are stronger than this!”
Let’s all take on this journey together, and fellowship with one another: encourage, lift up, call out, and show one another that we can make it to our final destination together. Our God will never leave us, nor forsake us…

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