Archive for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ Category

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A reflection on embracing your inner self, from a middle ager inspired by middle earth

In art,Books,C.S. Lewis,Community,culture,devotional,faith,Fun,Lord of the Rings,movies,poetry,The Hobbit,Theology,Uncategorized on December 14, 2012 by mstevensrev Tagged: , , , , ,

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This last week I was inspired by listening to Malcolm Guite‘s talk from Kindlings Summer Fest, the third of a series of three. ¬†We attended Summer Fest but were out ‘living’ the topic he spoke of, primarily being the¬†recipients¬†of amazing Orcas Island hospitality from our hosts…they took us on a tour of the island on the boat, simply amazing! ¬†If you have not heard of Malcolm or The Kindlings it would be worth checking out. ¬†The podcast is in the archive and joining Kindlings as an Associate is well worth the $2/month to listen to the content. ¬†His talk was titled,

Malcolm Guite ‚Äď Finding our Way Forward Beyond Generational Apartheid ‚Äď Live from Kindlings Fest 2012¬†

 

In the talk Malcolm covers some amazing points on how to reconnect across generations, his first two points will be the focus of my thoughts today:

  • You Yourself are Intergenerational! Start by remembering and befriending your inner child, the one that dreamed Dreams and saw visions.
  • If you are a youth still in touch with your inner child, how about getting in touch with your outer adult?

There are parts of who you have been created as a person that were transparent when you were a child and over time you ‘learned’ that those things were wrong, immature, or even shameful. ¬†While yes there are ‘childish’ ways that we are encourage to let go of, that is not what I’m talking about here. ¬†I’m talking about that calling from Jesus to be ‘childlike’. ¬†When you ask a kindergarten class to raise their hands if they are an artist, almost every hand will be in the air…yes this is probably because they love raising their hand but also that there is a love and passion for creating and learning. ¬†By middle school that entire poll completely changes as perhaps a few kids will raise their hands while most will look around to watch what their peers are doing. ¬†How does that middle schooler get back in touch with that kindergartner? ¬†A better question might be ‘how do I get back in touch with that child in me’?

Last night as my wife and I went to the midnight showing of The Hobbit, an unexpected journey, I was struck by a few small points around this topic.  First, the story is told generationally.  The way it is framed is Bilbo Baggins is writing his adventures to his cousin Frodo Baggins, they are more than seventy years apart and therefore this connection is intergenerational.  Also it is a time for Bilbo as he is entering a late stage of life to reflect upon his adventurous middle life experiences.  Lastly, when Gandalf describes why he chose such an unlikely home-body as Bilbo to Bilbo himself, Gandalf reminds Bilbo of his youthful adventurous spirit that had been all but replaced by reading and looking at maps as an adult. Bilbo is brought face to face with the need to embrace the passions of his childhood and realize them as an adult.

One small aside this embracing of childhood passion can be a perverted immaturity as a grownup child plays with expensive and dangerous toys at the expense of others to fulfill selfish desires, the guard against this is clear from the movie…other centeredness. ¬†Bilbo embraces the adventure for the sake of reclaiming a home for the dwarves, be a child and then live passionately and childlike for another’s good!

Let’s also remember what I just described is the part of “getting in touch with your outer adult”. ¬†There is a beauty that comes along with age, that of wisdom, loyalty and integrity. ¬†These are also why Bilbo was chosen for the journey, fear would cause him to doubt his place at moments. ¬†The beauty of having a hobbit on the journey..and in this world is that they are the only ones of such great¬†character (especially the Baggins)¬†that they can carry the ring.

Today there are a few practical things I want to encourage you in. ¬†First, reflect on your passions from your childhood. One for me was the grandfather clock in our house, hands down the most valuable possession in meaning to my family. ¬†I grew up with a love of that clock and when an opportunity arose to be involved with making a clock, my passions from childhood were ignited. ¬†Second, sing a song or read a poem or riddle…today. There is a beauty and inspiration that cannot be captured in words by doing this. ¬†Christopher Alexander in his masterpiece, The Timeless Way of Building, ¬†captures this well…he spends an entire book describing how this nameless power is present in good (true) architecture.

I will leave you with the powerful ¬†words of C.S. Lewis in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,¬†‚ÄúIt means,‚ÄĚ said Aslan, ‚Äúthat though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge only goes back to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor‚Äôs stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.‚ÄĚ

Seek the deeper magic today.

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Growing into the person you have been created to be

In art,Bible,Books,business,church,culture,devotional,Evangelist,faith,familiy,Friends,Fun,fun video,leadership,Lord of the Rings,movies,principles,Proverbs,Reading,Theology,Uncategorized on November 4, 2012 by mstevensrev Tagged: , ,

During the past week I have been thinking through many of the experiences of my life that have been used to bring me to where I am at. This morning as I am reading I came across a passage in 1 Samuel 21, that clearly reminded me of something out of Lord of the Rings, and it was a passage of scripture that I never have remembered reading.

In a previous post I spoke about King Saul, who had been chosen the leader of God’s people Israel really for no other¬†apparent¬†reason other than God chose him by placing God’s Spirit upon Saul. ¬†Later in the story a new King (a different King) is ordained and the Spirit of God leaves Saul, only returning temporarily in the story. ¬†The kingship essentially is passed on to a young boy named David. ¬†Now just about everyone in western culture knows of David because of the story of David versus¬†Goliath. In a battle between God’s people and their most brutal enemies, the¬†Philistines,¬† a bet is made to decide the war, instead of all the warriors fighting¬†the¬†Philistines make an offer that if an Israelite warrior can defeat the best of the best of the Philistines it will settle the dispute. ¬†Sounds like a good way to spear blood shed the only problem is¬†the¬†Philistines have a weapon of mass destruction named¬†Goliath. He is essentially an¬†indestructible¬†giant that leads God’s people into fear and¬†cowardliness. Except for one pre-pubescent boy named David, who as everyone can remember defeats Goliath by relying on God and using a slingshot an one stone. ¬†This is often used¬†culturally¬†as a¬†parable¬†on bravery, when it is actually a story of relying on the work of a powerful God in impossible circumstances.¬†Through the event David is thrust into popularity that creates almost constant tension between the old King, Saul, and the newly ordained not yet King, David. ¬†Multiple times Saul tries to kill David, and the story I’m about to share takes place after one particularly intense attempt on David’s life by Saul where David flees.

While on the road David and his men are starving so he stops in to see Ahimelech the priest for some food. The part of the story that gets most of the attention is Ahimelech the priest allows David and his men to eat the holy bread, a big no no.  Then Ahimelech realizes David has no weapons:

8¬†Then David said to Ahimelech, “Then have you not here a spear or a sword at hand? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste”¬†9¬†And the priest said,¬†c¬†“The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down ind¬†the Valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it, for there is none but that here” And David said, “There is none like that; give it to me”

The sword that David won in battle during his youth, is only given to him once he becomes a man. ¬†There is no¬†explanation¬†as Ahimelech just provides it. ¬†The part of the story that is not mentioned other then not being given a reason that David didn’t know about this sword beforehand or already have it, is that it appears David is now ‘big’ enough for the sword. ¬†Going back and reading the story of David and Goliath reminds us that Goliath was a giant, therefore Goliath would have possessed a sword worth of his stature.

In my minds eye I never picture David as a large man, actually after reading this morning I realized that most of my images of David depict him as a handsome late teenager or twenty year old of average stature. ¬†I’m uncertain of any descriptions of David’s stature later in his life but there are many details that provided this picture for my mind:¬†in spite¬†of being a successful warrior David was a¬†musician¬†and poet, David had a way with the ladies, and David had a deeply intimate emotional relationship with Saul’s son Jonathan. ¬†All these details combined with being introduced to David when he is a boy have lead me to always picture him as a smaller man, until now. ¬†In this story he is handed Goliath’s sword without concern that he is ‘big’ enough to yield it when necessary. ¬†David has physically grown into the great manly character he demonstrated as a youth when he defeated Goliath.

This morning I am struck with the connection to the story line in The Lord of the Rings, where¬†Aragorn¬†the¬†misanthrope ranger, who is a human son of the king of Gondor destined to lead the Kingdom of Men into¬†prominence¬†in Middle Earth, receives Anduril. ¬†The sword that defeated Sauron in the ancient epic battle of middle earth that freed the ring of destiny from the possession of the evil King Sauron. Embedded in this post is the scene where Aragorn is given Anduril. ¬†This is a picture I have of David receiving Goliath’s sword from 1 Samuel.

One other brief note on this is related to David’s use or lack there of use of the sword. ¬†After being handed it I would be very excited to go out and yield it at the first opportunity. ¬†Yet David does not, he understands that God has given him many ‘swords’ at the moment and in the next conflict he is faced with he does not use Goliath’s sword as justification that God intends him to go and start a fight with all those who oppose him. ¬†David understands that just because you have the sword doesn’t mean that you are meant to use it.

12¬†And David¬†g¬†took these words to heart and was much afraid of Achish the king of Gath.¬†13¬†So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard.¬†14¬†Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me?¬†15¬†Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”

David when faced with conflict while holding Goliath’s sword at his side, uses his cleverness to avoid getting killed by Achish by acting crazy. ¬†It reminds me of a friend’s explanation of wisdom, “Wisdom is not merely knowing the correct action to take, but rather the correct action at the appropriate time.” ¬†Everyone has a destiny, something that you have been created to do, embrace it. ¬†When you are given a physical reminder of that destiny use wisdom because possession of the great gift does not necessarily mean that you are meant to use it in that circumstance.