The Lord of the Rings. My wife calls it, “Lord of the Nerds.” I guess it’s true that fanatical fans of this genre of adventure story are more likely to be nerdy. But I will add that true followers of Jesus Christ also find much in common with His ‘Greatest Story ever told’. And I love talking and writing about it! So, when I saw today’s prompt, I made sure to jump in.
Specifically, the movie quote (from ‘The Return of The King’) I immediately thought of was the following:
Denethor: My sons are spent. My line has ended. Rohan has deserted us. Theoden’s betrayed me. Abandon your posts! Flee, flee for your lives!
[He turns around, and Gandalf knocks him out with his staff]
Gandalf: Prepare for battle!
The important point is made earlier by Gandalf, questioning why Denethor has not prepared Gondor for war:
Pippin: [kneeling] I offer you my service, such as it is, in payment of this debt.
Denethor: This is my first command to you. How did you escape, and my son did not, so mighty a man as he was?
Pippin: The mightiest man may be slain by one arrow… and Boromir was pierced by many.
Gandalf: Get up. My Lord, there will be a time to greive for Boromir, but it is not now. War is coming. The enemy is on your doorstep. As steward, you are charged with the defense of this city. Where are Gondor’s armies? You still have friends. You are not alone in this fight. Send word to Theoden of Rohan. Light the Beacons.
The Biblical Principle displayed here is that of living being prepared; to be “Ready, Set, (so that you can) Go!”
1 Peter 5:8
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
In 2008, I came to believe that God exists and that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to bring us the opportunity to choose salvation. I decided that I would learn to live every moment of every day from then on with a focus on being prepared for Jesus’ return. It’s that simple.
1 Peter 4:7
The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
Either The End (as foretold in Revelation) will come, or my end (as in my death) will come, relatively unexpectedly – and my health crises since 2014 have backed up that possibility!
Certainly, this has not been an easy process. Temptations, doubt, and just being worn out from time to time have set me back. But, it is my conscious intent to change my overall behavior in this way, so I get up – with His help, brush myself off, and continue forward.
And I have found that I have grown from diligence in my time reading the Bible, prayer and journaling, to other areas of life like researching political questions and candidates, being thankful, more financially responsible, and earnestly applying myself to this new “thing” I do (writing).
1 Thessalonians 5:6
so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.
This attitude has reinforced my sobriety from alcohol and time-wasting diversions like video gaming. (In the past, I could throw away entire days in such fruitless and selfish entertainments.) These days, I do make sure I have some daily recreation, but it’s not the only thing I do.
1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
Yes, I suppose “real, mature men” already knew this, and part of my testimony is be honest about not wanting to be that kind of responsible – for anything, let alone for my own actions. I think this has something to do with actually “growing up”, putting away childish things, and recognizing that His ways are not my ways. It also comes from being still and knowing.
Compare this with Denethor’s reaction in the clip above. He has been deluding himself about the situation Gondor is in, and suddenly, coming up against it, he’s way not prepared.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
To conclude, today’s prompt reminds me of our great need to pay the price of sober vigilance. I hope you can understand why!