I, like many Americans have spent nearly 8 hours of my life watching a little trilogy called The Lord of the Rings. Maybe you’ve heard of it? The movies quite frankly make me uncomfortable. The darkness is so great and the evil so real, I was relieved when each movie ended. Frodo, the poor unassuming Hobbit really had no idea what he was getting into when he took on the mission of throwing the ring into the mouth of that volcano. At least that is what I remember. Like I said, I’ve only watched the trilogy once and it was several years ago now. One thing for sure is Frodo had a mission that was bigger than himself and he knew he had to complete it.
Although the movies were dark and the evil painted so well that I can barely think about it without getting shivers, the metaphor was powerful. Frodo had a job to do and those around him knew the importance of his job and were willing to walk with him to complete the given task. It is a powerful picture of relationship. In particular Frodo had a good friend named Sam. Sam was also a Hobbit. He was clumbsy and rough around the edges, but he was faithful. Throughout the story, Frodo became week and the desire to keep the ring and it’s power for self was so tempting, Sam kept him on task even though at times Frodo was cruel and though the trek was very hard. Sam was faithful.
Frodo in the end completes his mission. He is tired and exhausted. There is a flood of emotion, being so glad the mission is complete, spent from the experience in every way and truly overwhelmed with the process. Frodo’s life would never be the same.
I think we each have a mission. We each have been given a great task of brining love, fighting evil and seeking good, justice, and mercy in our world. We go about the work of our mission, thinking we need to be just like Frodo. Take things head on and strive towards the finish line. We work, we exhaust ourselves and we strain to accomplish the task given, but we often forget one crucial element. Frodo did not go at it alone. For that matter all the greats didn’t go at it alone. There is almost always someone, whose name is not remembered who stands with the one in battle. Frodo had Sam and a whole circle of friends and strangers who believed in him. Jesus had his three best friends and a whole group of others. There were four who fought in Narnia. Batman had robin. Snoop had Charlie. David had Jonathan. The list could go on and on.
The truth is, we are not meant to fight alone. Yes, the climb to the next mountain top is going to be hard, but we were not meant to make the climb alone. I would go as far as to say we may not reach our goals if we go at them by ourselves.
We worship independence in this country. It is a great thing when it comes to freedom, but it isn’t so good when it comes to personal relationships. We were created for each other. We were created for relationship. As you make that climb to the next high point in your life its important to know whose with you. Are you going to attempt to summit the mountain alone? What keeps you from inviting others into your journey?
Going at things alone is what most of us know, but in doing so we are missing out on the power and beauty of relationship. Take some time and think, who have you invited to walk with you? Do you have a Sam? Someone who will be with you, support you, speak truth over you, fight for you and be willing to be with you in the good, bad and ugly? Do you have a community who knows you? Who walks with you to see you reach your goals and accomplish your mission? Are you helping someone else reach theirs?
These questions are not simply about having social friends, but having friends who see friendship as a partnership through life. Relationships where life is seen and experienced through the eyes and experience of community. If you’re reading this and you can’t think of a person or group who you know are for you and are with you, that is both invited by you as well as people who pursue you, then take a moment to pray and ask God, who by the way is very relational, to give you one friend, one person who will be with you. And risk to make it happen!