Minor Musings over Movies: One More Step

We all have a desire for adventure within our hearts. Some of us embrace it and race out our doors to see exotic places or do thrilling activities. Others timidly step out, wondering what will happen when we leave the place we call home, the place we are comfortable in. And others still, gruffly abhor even the thought of adventure, like Dickens’ character Scrooge, they call “Bah Humbug!” at even the slightest mention of it.

Yet, if you are living your life for Jesus, you will be faced with the greatest adventures of your life.

If you are that timid first step taker, you are in good company. I have learned, and often times tell others, you can’t let the future overwhelm you, or allow the steps you will have to take drown you in fears. You must take one step at a time, knowing Jesus is with you in each one.

That’s what Samwise does in The Fellowship of the Ring. He has lived in the Shire his entire life, experiencing a peaceful routine existence. Who knows if an adventure ever even crossed his mind? In fact, he couldn’t even take the step to ask a girl to dance, let a lone go on a quest to save the world.

Yet, there he was, embarking on this journey, and he pauses, he hesitates. Fear, sadness, and insecurity seeps in. He looks ahead to an unfamiliar path, feet planted in the comfortable.

“If I take on more step, I’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been.”

It’s never been done! What lies ahead? How can he leave? I am sure in that minute, questions raced through Sam’s mind. However, with a small nudge, Sam takes that first step. As watchers and readers, we know the incredibly hard challenges that lay ahead for Sam. We may think he should have taken a step backwards, but once Sam said, “Yes”, and activated something in himself, no matter the challenges ahead, he continued to have the perseverance to take that “one more step”.

I’d say our Christian life is exactly the same. God leads us into situations we might find scary or uncomfortable. We’ll face that “farthest away form home” moment. Do I say yes to God’s leading or do I turn back and remain safe? Thankfully God will nudge us forward and  in response we should take that first step.

The rest of the journey, no matter how dangerous, should be lived “one more step” at a time. Because we activated our faith by stepping out, like Sam, we are more likely to respond in faith as challenges come along our journey.

If you are facing a scary and overwhelming list of challenges and/or tasks ahead, remember Sam and just take “one more step” until you are swept off your feet on the adventure of a lifetime with Christ.

 

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Minor Musings During Movies: Samwise

I want to be a friend like Samwise Gamgee.

I can be compassionate, loving, kind, and many other things to my friends, but there always comes a time where I wish I got something in return, I wish my compassion was acknowledged, I wish it was reciprocated. But Sam, he doesn’t care. He loyally follows Frodo from the Shire to Mordor with nothing in return. He shares his hopes with Frodo, he watches over him, he loves him.

Even when Frodo tells Sam to go away, Sam returns, knowing full well that Frodo may not want him there. And again, in the end, Sam is one of the greatest heroes of the story, yet where is the acknowledgement for him…where is, even, the excited reunion from the other fellowship members.

Yes, I’d like to be a friend like Sam. Pouring out myself completely with no expectation ever of anything in return. Doing it out of humble love.

A Character Study on Humility

Lord of the Rings is filled with characters who are great examples of humility. Frodo constantly believes himself unworthy, incapable of carrying the ring, but he carries it none the less. Aragorn worries about becoming a king. He doesn’t believe he deserves it, and even when he becomes one, he humbles himself to the hobbits in front of everyone.

Yes, there are many admirable characters, but I want to talk about Samwise Gamgee. I always felt tied to Sam’s character and often felt defensive of him in the film.

Sam is a “lowly” gardener who is a fiercely loyal friend to Frodo. He isn’t considered much of anyone. Frodo is really the star of the show and Sam is often not listened to or even overlooked.

 

I have felt that way in my life often, overlooked, invisible, unheard, but I do not deal with these things as gracefully and humbly as Samwise does.

Sam only cares about Frodo’s well being, rarely thinking of himself and in trutn, Frodo truly cares for Sam.

The moments of Sam’s humility that stand out for me follow.. Just FYI, I am about to take examples from not only the live action film, but also the cartoon.

I think what’s revealing of Sam’s insecurities is when the ring tempts him (in the cartoon). It shows him a future where he is teh hero, a king, looked up to, famous, noticed. See what I am getting at? Though neither I nor Same care about the riches or power, we both are tempted by the idea of being recognized, looked up to, and cared about. Yet Sam, no matter how tempted, even with all his life going unrecognized for his kindness, hard work, and heroics, throws the ring aside, becase he was meant to help Frodo, not help himself.

Another significant scene in my mind is when Frodo lsitens to Gollum and essentiallybanishes Sam from is life and quest. Up to this point, who was the one person who listened and cared about Sam? – Frodo.

That is a devastating moment. Sometimes I wish Sam would yell at Frodo, “Don’t you remember all I’ve done for you? Stood by your side, protected you no matter what! This is how you thank me?” But Sam just leaves, crying in silence.

Ah, and here is when I think, Oh Sam, give up on Frodo, but Sam, as humble, kind, and courageous as he is, decides to go with Frodo anyways. No one cares about Sam anymore and yet he keeps doing so much food.

The last and most important scene is near the end of the film. The fellowship watches Mount Doom go up in an explosion of lava. They all cry out “Frodo” in pain. How this angers me! Who else is on that mountain? Sam! And yet non of them seem to remember or care about him. Despite that, when Frodo is healed and everyone is excited about his return, in comes Sam, quiet, humble, silently joyful, looking on, not one complaint or even indication that he is hurt by getting overlooked.

What is my point? As I walk with Christ, being shaped by His hands, one of my most difficult struggles is not allowing resentment, anger, hurt, sadness, worthlessness to seep in when I am overlooked. It’s encouraging to remember a character like Sam.

To me, He’s the most noble of all the characters. Why? Because of his humility. He reminds me to focus, focus my love and loyalty, dedication on one being (Frodo for him, Christ for me), and to not care even once that others do not see me. To essentially, also, cry out “Frodo’s” (Christ’s) name when everyone else does. To allow myself to be overlooked, unheard, unnoticed, because the Lord s glad when we do so with joy.