An awesome story

Ivan wanted to watch The Hobbit: The desolation of Smaug. I have always been resistant to watching the Lord of the Rings series. Firstly, I do not like fantasy stories very much. Secondly, I do not like the gory creatures in the series. However, I decided to give it a try to watch this movie for the purpose of accompanying my husband. After all, after we got together, I have even watched Avengers, Thor, Ironman ….and all those action movies which he likes and they were not that bad.

And am I glad I decided to watch The Hobbit. Before watching The desolation of Smaug in the cinema, we watched the first part at home as I had not watched it and the the story was a continuation. And I actually enjoyed it so much that I wanted to watch Lord of the Rings ….. which is such a gem! Finished watching the 3 parts over the Chinese New Year holidays – The fellowship of the Ring, The Twin Towers and The Return of the King. In fact, I think I will probably watch it again sometime in the future.

I enjoyed the show because it was very thought provoking. It had a lot of Christian messages and a lot to chew on about the battle between light and darkness. This is one movie that really impacted me a lot.

I decided that I had to pen down some of my reflections and takeaways from the movie.

1) In the movie, all the characters were tested. Some overcame and some did not and went over to the dark side. We must allow the Lord to deal with our ‘besetting sin(s)’ which every one of us has. And pray for grace that we will be able to overcome temptation.

2) That we overcome and fight not as individuals but as a community, as a body, covering one another. Frodo accomplished his mission only with the help of those around him. There will be those who will come alongside us to help us to fulfill the call that we have. We cannot do it alone because we are but flesh and we have weaknesses. We need to cover and support one another. It’s the friendships, camaraderie, deep love and trust for one another that is what will help us overcome obstacles and keep us going.

3) The role of Sam – very supportive but yet instrumental role. He was at the forefront but yet, not in the limelight. Sam – simple with little talents yet his strengths were that he was brave, loyal, selfless, true and dependable. He always put Frodo’s needs above his, fully understanding that his role was to help Frodo accomplish his mission and giving his all for that cause, being happy and contented in that role and never desiring to take Frodo’s place. He was so focused on his task from beginning to the end never forgetting that this was the task Gandalf had given him. In this way, we need to support our pastors and leaders in the church – because being at the frontline, their burden is often times the heaviest, and the pressure most intense.

4) Frodo – He was the main hero who had his weaknesses. Not a typical hero who was strong. From the start, he was fraught with fear – intense pressure on him because he was the one who carried the ring. But yet, he chose to carry out the mission even though there was nothing in it for him except the high possibility of death. He understood that the call was given to him and what was at stake if he did not respond. He had compassion on Gollum – never giving up on him when everyone did and willing to take risks with him. And his compassion touched Gollum and reached out to the good in Gollum for a while. However, Gollum had been too badly hurt and abused and it was too little, too late. If Gollum had encountered more of such people who were willing to believe in him and take chances with him earlier in his life, his outcome might have been very different.

5) Aragon needed to overcome the past and put aside historical baggages and fears of the past – fear of self failing and falling to temptation because of what happened to his father. The position of king was his but he had relinquished it because of his fears of self. The battle could only be won when he took up his position and began to stand in the authority that he had been given. We cannot have faith in our self, but we must have faith in the One who created us and trust that whatever he will puts us through, He will give grace to overcome.

6) The story also reminds us that there is no middle or neutral ground in this fight between light or darkness. The king of Rohan had to choose whether or not to fight or not. As a good king who loved his people, he naturally wanted to protect his people and had tough decisions to make. By choosing to fight, it meant that he had to sacrifice lives because there will be casualties of war. Sometimes, we think that by not fighting, we can preserve our life. But that may not be so. The enemy will come against us whether or not we like it and as Christians we must be prepared to fight for truth and for light.

7) Finally, my personal favourite character – Faramir. Though always living in his brother’s shadow, yet, when he had that one chance to take the ring and gain his father’s favour, he chose not too. I love the gentleness and meekness that is the result of the breakings from being rejected by his own father.  Though broken from being the useless son in his father’s eyes, his love for truth and his brother whom he could never outshine kept him and enabled him to see that the power of the ring could not be tamed in any hand and had to be destroyed. Given what he went through, it would have been easy for him to fall into bitterness, jealousy, low self-esteem, striving etc. Yet, his heart remained soft and was not blinded by his own hurts. He was still sober and sound enough to make the right choice at the critical moment. And these choices that we make when we are tested will ultimately determine our destiny – whether we play our part in advancing the kingdom, whether we fall or stand in the day of testing and whether we rise to that call to make a difference in our generation.