I’ve been out of the regular routine for this month of February, some of it leave time, some of it working on long range stuff. This past month has been a respite of hope and healing on a journey that I think will be long. My hope is that it is like when Frodo and Sam meet Faramir unlooked for in the woods of Ithilien; my fear is that it is Galadriel’s Lorien, or even Elrond’s Rivendell.

The scariest thought is that this might be Butterbur’s Bree! To think Weathertop and the Fords of Bruinen and Moria might still be ahead seems a little much. I’d prefer to think those three are behind. Not that Cirith Ungol and Mt. Doom are a cakewalk, but I’d like to think I’m at least to Eastern Gondor on my quest.

(Apologies to the non-Tolkien junkies out there…)

10 thoughts on “Reflecting

  1. ::mutters to self:: dang it – i *know* i have a tolkien translator firefox plugin somewhere ::picks up computer and shakes it:: nope, that doesn’t seem to work – maybe if i read some terry brooks, i’d know what he’s talking about . . .



  2. I can also speak Tolkien, but try to avoid doing so in public. But for your sake, here goes…

    In all seriousness, Gregg, could your hopes for yourself be a bit too “hobbit-like”? I’m encouraged that you see yourself on a long journey, and it took Frodo awhile to realize he was on a journey, too. One of the critical turning points of the LOTR is when Frodo realizes that he is meant to do more than just deliver the Ring to Rivendell and that he cannot stay there, as nice as it is.

    I think God’s people often make the mistake of thinking our task is to create places like Rivendell in the midst of the brokenness and darkness of our world, or worse, chosing to make our lives in Minas Tirith rather than Osgiliath as we should.

    I am most encouraged that you’ve found this time to be most like the meeting with Faramir (who was poorly done by in the movies, btw), but not perhaps for what you are seeing right now. Unlike Frodo’s quest, I don’t think Christian discipleship nor Christian leadership have a defined destination, short of the New Jerusalem. We don’t get to arrive at Mr. Doom, drop in the Ring, and be done with it.

    What we get is a continual journey, but when things go well, we also get company on that journey. We get both the sense and the substance that we are in this together. The relative success of Frodo’s quest ebbs and flows with his embrace and rejection of fellowship.

    As I’ve read your comments and reflections over the past month, it seems to me that your best moments have come when you have been able to know and experience that you are not in this alone. I think the best part of Frodo’s meeting with Faramir is when they both realize that they are, broadly speaking, on the same quest, and I’ve been glad for you that you’ve had similar meetings in the past few weeks.

    So I’m not so sure you’re in Eastern Gondor. Rather, I think you are moving towards a place where you can sing what Frodo perhaps unwittingly sang when he set out from the Shire, – “The Road goes ever on and on…”.

    As Bilbo said, “It’s a dangerous business going out your door”, but it seems that it’s the only business we have, or at least it’s the only business that’s worth doing.


  3. We all want to be Hobbits don’t we?

    Or at least, cute and furry hobbits who burst into long and tiresome song every time they cross this ancient stream or that weathered hill.

    But what if we’re like the other hobbit in this story? The one who lived under a mountain for 500 years and talks to himself in public? The one who is ruled by his addictions and passions and desires?

    I know which one I’m like, 9 times out of 10.

    I take some comfort however, in the fact that in the end it’s Smeagol who saves the world and destroys the Ring, even if that’s not what he intended….


  4. I saw the trilogy and don’t remember anything like you describe…can you describe it through the lense of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure so I can understand it?


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