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“WANTING TO BE LEGOLAS” – April 21

April 21, 2013

“…He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.” Acts 27:43b-44

Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's T...My daughter recently bought the DVD of the Hobbit by director Peter Jackson.  We have subsequently watched it a multitude of times in the last couple days so my mind has been flooded with images of Middle Earth.  I love epic tales.  I have been drawn into all of J.R.R Tolkien’s tales of Middle Earth due to their epic scale.

The problem with epic tales is that they can skew our expectations of reality.

We are all part of the most epic plan ever imagined.  The wonderful aspect of this plan is that it does not come from an author’s imagination but it is real.  God’s redemptive plan has been unfolding throughout history.  What story could be greater than the Creator God of the Universe, the Great I AM, saving His fallen and rebellious creation from certain destruction?   It is a plan of unfathomable dimension and limitless depth.

However, this epic plan mostly unfolds in the ordinary.  It is typically carried out in the normal.  Every person plays a role in the greatest story of history when they rise in the morning and either set their minds on the things of the Spirit or the flesh. We are all living in the epic whether we know it or not.

There are the occasional glimpses of the spectacular but the majority of the time we trudge along in the familiar.  I want to participate in  God’s epic plan with grace and courage.  I am reminded of a scene in the Return of the KingLegolas slays an oliphant by effortlessly swinging up its side while agilely dodging his assailants. After killing the beast he then gracefully slides down it’s trunk to land lightly upon his feet.  That is the sort of participant in God’s great unfolding story that I want to be.

Mûmakil in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rin...

Mûmakil in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, this is where the imagination and reality clash.  Reality is more like the Apostle Paul’s experience. Directed by God to return to Rome, he was placed on a ship by his captors.  They were caught in a violent storm for fourteen days where they struggled in vain to hold the ship together.  They had to unload cargo into the raging sea.  Able seamen had to be prevented from abandoning their ship and responsibilities.  They spied an opportunity to run their ship ashore on a beach of a nearby island.  They casted off their anchors, set the sail, and made for the beach only to strike a reef.  The entire party gets washed ashore amid planks and a myriad of ship debris.  They were undoubtedly covered with sand and the grime of the sea, bruised and battered.  It was not a very graceful exit.  It certainly was not an elegant or agile landing.

That is life.

Orlando Bloom as Legolas in Peter Jackson's li...I have never really experienced a “Legolas” type moment.  Most of my moments have been more of the ungraceful and awkward type where I have landed in an inglorious and embarrassing heap.  That does not mean that they were unimportant or not a part of God’s plan.

We need to be careful about seeking out and participating in only “Legolas” like moments.  They may never happen.  I don’t know if I have ever felt like I had the perfect words to say or write.  I can’t remember ever clearly seeing the path before me so that I could effortlessly bound forward without the risk of tripping.  If we wait for the perfect conditions to make our leaps of faith, then we may never jump.

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

Our eyes are on another world as we walk through this one.  We have placed our conviction in things that cannot be seen.  Our reality is that we move forward by faith.  That means that we may stumble.  That means that we may become part of a group that gets ingloriously washed ashore.  We may pick imperfect words and look foolish.  We may not see the next foothold and appear indecisive.  We may be walking along and trip over the common and fall in an awkward and embarrassing heap.

PESUDA ship wreck, Tlell, BC in HDRHowever, I will risk landing in a clumsy heap over the security of standing on the sideline of God’s wonderful plan of redemption with my dignity intact.  My dignity is not worth much in comparison to God’s plan.  The opinion of others is insignificant in comparison to the glories of God. The blessings of a deep and meaningful relationship with God are found only in the practice of our faith.    God will only be found by those who seek Him through the power of His Spirit.  That happens when we are actually in the epic journey of faith.

Are you ready to trust in the promises of God and take your potentially inglorious next step?  We need to remember that every inglorious step that we take forward leads us to a glory beyond what we can even comprehend at this time.  That glory of our Lord will cause all the struggles and suffering of this time to fade in an insignificant memory.  Every inglorious step, taken in faith, serves a purpose and is transformed by the Spirit into glory for our Lord and Savior.

We must decide which glory we want the most – God’s glory or our own.

PRAYER: Father, forgive me for so often choosing my glory over yours.  Forgive me for seeking out opportunities where my risks of appearing inglorious can be managed.  Forgive me for not trusting you like I know I should.  Father, help me in my unbelief.  Help me to walk by faith and to set my eyes not on what I see in this world.  Help me to set my convictions on the things that I cannot see.  Help me to take the next step of faith, forgetting myself, for your praise and glory.  Amen.

8 comments

  1. What I love about the story of Paul and the shipwreck is that everyone lives! There was no loss of life, as promised by God’s angel. And then Paul went on to do some pretty amazing things on Melita. Isn’t that the way? Even the really big bumps in the road – like being thrown into a den of lions, or a fiery furnace – can’t keep us from being about our Father’s business when we give Him all the glory. I guess that’s the key to surviving the bumps!


  2. Good analogy! My boys love this trilogy and I like the life applications it gives, pointing us to Christ. Thank you!


  3. I really like this! I love how you seek the reality of God in every day life. It’s an adventure to find Him in the ordinary. The more of Him I find the more I realize how much ordinary life is actually miraculous.


  4. I am really enjoying your writings and the prayers that follow. However, I do have one issue that gives me pause: at the end of your prayers, there is no mention of the name of Jesus. Did you just forget to include that part? Keeping Acts 4:10-12 in mind, I cannot help feeling that this is rather important. Otherwise, keep up the good work, and may God bless you as you encourage other Christians to keep the faith!


  5. We are so enamored by the extraordinary and the glory attached to it that we fail to see the extraordinary in the ordinary and embrace its hope. Most of us will never have a Legolas moment, but our lives will indeed glorify God. Thanks for the post. – steve


  6. Amen, JD. I am praying your prayer right now. Thank you!


  7. Wonderful post! “There are the occasional glimpses of the spectacular but the majority of the time we trudge along in the familiar.” I could not agree more – well said! Our family loves Tolkien’s writing and Peter Jackson’s directing. While our realty may not seem as exciting as these movies/books, it is actually the most amazing journey if we are fulfilling the Great Commission. Now that has eternal value!

    Blessings ~ Wendy


  8. Amen.. Lord give us the courage to walk daily by your spirit



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