Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Life is a Journey

After jury duty yesterday, I watched a little of "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" while scarfing some lunch. The trilogy is my favorite movie--I love the sense of journey that provides.

Over the past few years my boys have gotten into a series on the web called "How it should have ended." They take movies and tell a new ending, a new story. And it's much shorter. For instance, how "The Lord of the Rings" should have ended involves the 9 members of the "fellowship" leaving Rivendell on the eagles, flying into Mordor to the Mount of Doom, and dropping the ring in. Takes all of a few minutes, instead of the ordeal that the book and movie draw out.

Funny, maybe. But not reflective of reality.

Life is a journey. Full of ups and downs. Successes and failures. Good and evil. And lots of things in between all those extremes that can feel mundane. Why didn't God want them to just climb on the eagles and drop it in? Why doesn't life have those kinds of shortcuts?

I think it's because we become better people only by walking in the journey. Frodo and Sam learned about life beyond the Shire, and became better hobbits for it. Aragorn remembered he was the heir to a king. Gandalf died but was resurrected to something better, something more.

The journey of life can crush us. But it can also be redemptive for us. It can be used by God to shape us and mold us and make us more like our brother Jesus.


Tiffany Smith said...

Arnie, I sometimes want that eagle so badly....but you are so right about the journey. It is the journey in the movie that is so beautiful and what I love most about the movie. Shouldn't I say that about my life....the journey is what is the most beautiful, what I love most.....after all it is were I see and experience God the most and learn the most about Him and myselft through Him!
I love 2 Corinthians 4 from the Message:
2 Corinthians 4
Trial and Torture
1-2Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we're not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don't maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don't twist God's Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.
3-4If our Message is obscure to anyone, it's not because we're holding back in any way. No, it's because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention. All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and that they won't have to bother believing a Truth they can't see. They're stone-blind to the dayspring brightness of the Message that shines with Christ, who gives us the best picture of God we'll ever get.

5-6Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we're proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, "Light up the darkness!" and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.

7-12If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best!

13-15We're not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, "I believed it, so I said it," we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!

16-18So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.

Thanks for the post and for the remeinder of the beauty of the journey!

Tiffany Smith

Arnie Adkison said...

Thanks Tiff! Miss you guys!