Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Frodo's Calling

It seems improbable that I include The Lord of the Rings Trilogy on my list of all time favorite movies, especially since I’m generally into “Chick flicks” and not “shoot ‘em ups”. (Or in this case “spear and slash ‘em up”.) Yet, I absolutely love these movies. I suppose I’m drawn and captivated by the many spiritual truths they contain – truths about friendship, loyalty, devotion, self-sacrifice, and calling.

Frodo, one of four extraordinary Hobbits, was quite evidently “called” by some higher being to carry the power-wielding ring to its destruction. No one else could do it, not even his faithful companion Sam. The wise elf-queen Galadriel said quite plainly, “If you don’t find a way, no one will.” And of course by movie’s end, he does find a way, receiving high commendation for his service from the King of Gondor.

I love stories where ordinary people step up to the plate and selflessly attempt an extraordinary task for the betterment of others. They travel long and perilous paths sprinkled with splashes of joy and tender moments. There are always “Gollums” who would derail the mission, and occasional “Sams” who forward it by their own devotion and self-sacrifice. And in spite of all the harrowing experiences and difficult challenges, in the end, the mission is accomplished making the world a better place. *sigh* These always leave me inspired by the hero’s courage and inner strength and yearning deeply for a calling of my own. I want to make a difference in my world.

After much pondering I’ve come to a staggering realization, I have received a higher calling, one requiring a generous supply of inner strength and courage, one that will impact my world, changing the course of history for those around me. It’s my job and mine alone, a task that won’t get done unless I find a way.

What is this task? The Great High Power, God Almighty, has asked me to care for those He’s personally entrusted to me - my children and my husband - not to their destruction, but to their construction – nurturing, encouraging, and building them up to be all He created them to be. Sure, someone else can cook, clean, shop, and read to the kids. Indeed, millions of women around the world have received similar callings, but God has uniquely crafted and gifted me to be the mom and wife these children and this man need in order to fulfill the call on their lives. If I fail – if I’m not true to the things I’ve been asked to do, if I don’t run the course, if I choose a different, easier path – what then?

Well…I’m sure, at first, Frodo and Sam didn’t fully understand the magnitude of their mission, or the consequences of failure. Neither do I.

So, I have accepted the challenge and press patiently onward…past runny noses, spilled milk, and sticky faces; through mood swings, broken hearts, and temper flares; tackling dirty faces, greasy dishes, and stained laundry, while stomping the occasional spider. Fortunately, my path is dotted liberally with lullabies, rocking chairs, and campfires; snuggles, chocolate chip cookies, and shopping sprees; church plays, family outings, and read-a-louds. I’m ever mindful to be the loving hands, feet, and voice of Christ to my family, so at the end, on that day when we all stand before the King of kings, we can all hear, “Well done, My good and faithful servants.”

I dare not fail.

“…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” ~ Ephesians 4: 1 & 2

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