April 28, 2012
Once again -- At the end of all things
I am reminded of this wonderful phrase written by J.R.R. Tolkein in "The Return of the King,"
"But do you remember Gandalf's words: Even Gollum may have something yet to do? But for him, Sam, I could not have destroyed the Ring. The Quest would have been in vain, even at the bitter end. So let us forgive him! For the Quest is achieved and now all is over. I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam."
I don't know why those words stick with me, but perhaps it is because these words in the LOTR's triology movie struck a chord in my heart. The friendship shared between Sam and Frodo, the quest to destroy the ring in the fires of Mount Doom, and the restoration of the King to the throne of Gondor. I guess I just love a really good story.
I also think that this idea, "coming to the end of all things," bespeaks of any kind of end of quest, or journey. It is the summation of a movement, the completion of a set of tasks, or the ending of a long friendship. It is the finalization of some thing, and typically that thing, is or has taken it's time or it's toll on the person engaged in the task at hand. Like Frodo and Sam, I have been on a quest of sorts too. Though my quest has been spiritual in nature, and not a physical quest per se, I have suffered through the trials and tribulations, the twists and turns, related to the journey and path I was on. Now, I am here at the "end of all things," at the end of this quest. I have completed my journey, I have learned my spiritual lesson, and I have finally come to the final phase, the closing days. I am so ready to be released from this journey, and I am ready to rest. I am ready to partake on a new adventure, but not yet. I need to rest. I need to stop and take time to process it all, to come to terms with what has transpired, and to make sense of it all. In doing so, I will be able to learn from the lesson, to draw inference, and then later use what I learned to help others. This is the Lord's will for my life, to help others by encouraging them in their own spiritual walk, to build them up so they stay consistent and determined -- and do not stray from the path.
As I consider my quest, and my journey's end, I go back in my mind to the end of the movie, to this dialog between Sam and Frodo,
Sam: (reading the title) There and Back Again: A Hobbit's Tale by Bilbo Baggins, and The Lord of the Rings by Frodo Baggins. You finished it.
Frodo: Not quite. There's room for a little more.
Yes, as with Sam and Frodo, my quest has ended; but there is still more for me to do. I am ready now to go on to the next journey, the next phase in my development as I walk my way forward into the future, and onwards to the prize.
"I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." Phil 3:14 NLT
Yes, I press on. I continue walking down the road, to the place that my Lord is calling me towards. I am in need of rest, and that rest will come -- soon, very soon. Until then, I walk on. I continue to walk along side my Lord, knowing that He carries the burden for me, He shoulders the heavy yoke. I can walk at ease because my Lord walks next to me, and He is able to carry the load. I am glad that my Lord is my Master, and that I am His work-fellow. I am in a good place in my life -- good, safe, and stable. Now, I must trust the Lord to show me the path we are to walk on next. It is not this same path, it is different, and it leads to another way. But that way will take us to the end, and that is where we are to go. I wait, I trust, and I look to Him for His leadership. He is my King, and I am with Him until the end of the age,
"And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matt. 28:20 NLT