“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things that are mighty.”
1 Corinthians 1:26
Here is our last visit to Middle Earth for now. There are so many characters, archetypes, and story plots that are very relatable to us today. It is hard to talk about only a few examples, especially when it comes to the rich cast of characters.
One character, that stands out as a symbol of the spiritual war mingled in the physical world. Gandalf the wizard has been around long before the events in the Hobbit. During all his time in Middle Earth he has been caught up in a fight that stretches back to the beginning of time. It has never been his battle, but he has faithfully done his part, through fire, water, blood, and spirit. You could say he found his purpose and lived it.
Even as he faced down a foe on the Bridge of Khazad-dum, he stood his ground and yelled, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” He saved his friends and lost his life.
In Tolkien’s story ages before The Lord of the Rings, Eru the One created the world. One of his greatest servants Melkor, rebelled against him. Causing havoc on a new world, he tried to corrupt the races of elves, dwarves, and men, and turn them against the power of their creator. Does this story have a familiar ring to it?
Even after Melkor was captured and imprisoned, his servant Sauron (who we have all know as the Lord of the Rings) continued to carry on his master’s plans. The battle of Good and Evil raged on through every part of Middle Earth.
That is one reason why Gandalf and the other four wizards were sent into the world. They were to guide the people of Middle Earth so that they may find their way in a fallen and chaotic world.
Gandalf has always been the voice of wisdom and council to those who would listen. He is a storm crow and a fiery brand to those who refuse to listen to reason. Gandalf is best knows as a friend, a true companion, and giver of words that you can trust ring with truth. He has many names, but his character has always been true, even as he has been tested over and over again.
Gandalf seems to be the one who is not afraid to face the snows or the fires; passing from life into death and into life again. He has faced off against Balrogs, dark Lords, misguided kings, and demonic forces head on, all the while letting his light shine in those dark places. He is best know for walking beside the weak and powerless as a comfort and a guide.
In many ways, Gandalf is a picture of Jesus to those who walk the earth. He takes on whatever life throws at him with courage and passion. Death took him as he saved those who he was called to protect. He rose again to a new life at the turning of the tide.
Recently, I have been challenged by my principle to help my students live their purpose. When students find their calling, their passion, everything takes on a whole new meaning. They can take on the mundane tasks with new fervor because they have something driving them on.
That is why Gandalf is a great character to wrap this series with. When you find your purpose in this life, by God’s grace you are unstoppable. Yes, you will face all the voices of doom, doubt, and fear inside and outside of your head. Yet, your ignited heart burns through the dark clouds of this imperfect and fallen world. There is something much stronger and satisfying filling up those places that were once inhabited by the junk of this world.
Find your purpose and live it. As you stand on the bridge of your Khazad-dum, and face those things that seek to destroy you, tell them.
“YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” Stand your ground and fight that good fight!