Tuesday, September 1, 2009

STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE

My husband and I have been watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. We are in the middle of Two Towers right now. I love both these movies and the books, and every time I watch the movies I get a different perspective. Tolkien was a great writer. You realize this more and more when you watch the movies or read the books.
This time when I was watching The Fellowship of the Ring, I realized that it is not only Frodo that has a great task ahead of him. Frodo has the burden of the ring. He does not want this task, but knows he is the one who has to do it. He willingly volunteers to take the ring to Mordor. As he travels, the burden of the ring gets heavier and heavier and more difficult to bear. He wishes he had never seen the ring, and I'm sure wishes he had never volunteered to take the ring to Mordor. But he does it. He sees what the ring does to other people. Thankfully it does not affect him in the same way.
Another person who has a great task ahead of him is Aragon. He is the heir of the King of Gondor. He does not want this task either, and doesn't even think he is worthy of it. Yet as time goes on, he realizes that he alone is the one who must rise up and take on this task. He does not do this for the glory, but simply because he knows it is he alone that must do it.
A third person who has a great task is Gandalf. When Gimli suggests that they go through the mines of Moria, Gandalf does not want to do it. After they try to go over the mountain and realize that it is impossible, Gandalf still does not want to be the one to make the decision and tells Frodo to decide. Frodo decides to go through Moria, and Gandalf knows what is ahead. He knows, even before he goes into Moria, the monster that is waiting for him there. He knows what it will take to defeat it. Once again, he does not want to do this, but steps up because he knows he is the one who has to.


Even Sam, Merry and Pippin come to terms with something they don't want to do. They really don't want to leave the Shire. They are all always talking about the Shire and the things they miss back there. Sam has sworn to never leave Frodo. He is true to his word to the end. Merry and Pippin rise up to the task every time they take the sword to stand and fight, even as small as they are.
As I watched this movie, thoughts of things in my life that I have not wanted to do came at me from all sides of my imagination. I can think of things that I willingly accepted, even though my feet hesitated, and I can also think of many things I came to a screeching halt at, and refused to do.
For instance: My husband joined my church about a year after we were married. Unfortunately at that time, my feet had done a screeching halt, and we were not active in the church until about 4 or 5 years later. After we were active, I was asked to lead the music in a Relief Society meeting. I did so hesitantly, and after the meeting, the RS President came up to me and told me that they were thinking of calling me to be the chorister for Relief Society, IF I was comfortable doing that. I had been so nervous that day, that was probably the most wrong question to ask me, so right then and there, my feet came to another screeching halt and I told her there was no way I would consider doing it. About 5 or 6 years went by and I was asked to play the piano for Relief Society. My feet tried and tried to stop, but my wise bishop would not let them come to a complete stop, so I accepted, on the condition that I would get the songs a month in advance so I could practice them. During the next few years, I advanced from Relief Society pianist, to Primary Pianist, , I was called as Music Chairman, led the Ward Choir, played for the Ward Choir, moved to another state, served as Ward Organist(I was given keys to the organ, and told to "figure it out"), Choir Pianist, and Choir Director and did those last 3 jobs for about 8-10 years. Now I wonder....do you see how much more ahead I would have been, had I accepted the very first calling as Relief Society chorister? The Lord knew where I needed to be. He tried as hard as he could to put me right into music, as soon as I was active in the church. I didn't feel qualified. I didn't think I had the right training. But I do see now, that had I accepted that calling, the Lord would have seen to it that I got in touch with the right people who could have helped me learn. With each calling I served in, I learned more and more. My music education was acquired in service to the Lord.
Is any task that we are asked to do too hard for us? Maybe. Maybe at first. But we learn more through our mistakes and resolve to do it better the next time. I can think of many mistakes. Many failures. One time, playing a violin/piano duet, someone put my music on the piano (after I had carefully arranged it) backwards. Since it was hand-written music, the composer hadn't bothered to put page numbers. I didn't realize it had the last 2 pages backwards until I got to the middle of the first line of the second page. I had no idea what was wrong. I just stopped. He stopped. He pointed a line to begin again on, and then while playing that, I realized what had happened, and we were able to play to the end. Maybe I should have stood up and said, "Ta-Da!" :0)
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy has some great quotes in it, but one quote sticks out in my mind. Frodo is speaking to Gandalf about how he wishes he had not taken the task to take the ring back. Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
No matter what we have done or what we have refused to do, that does not matter. It is in the past. "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." So that is the question: What will we do with the time we have left in this life?

6 comments:

keira said...

Great post, Mom. One of the things that gets me every time I watch those movies is how I can literally feel how heavy the burdon is for Frodo to have to carry the ring and return it, so much so that it is actually painful for me to watch.

Delirious said...

I had the same experience as you. My music training came because of callings in the church. It is because of my callings that I have learned to play and lead. The older I get, the more I realize that there are plenty of people who aren't very good at their calling, but they do it anyway. That makes me less hesitant to try when I dno't think I'm very good. :)
My word verification is "mingledo" I don't know what it means, but isn't is a cheery word? ;)

Inklings said...

Mingle and do, Delirious. :0)

Great post, Nene, and well said. There is a similar quote by Dumbledore (and I didn't bother to look it up) that says that maybe power is not meant for those who seek it, but upon whom it is thrust upon. Great are the people who do what needs to be done!

Bullet for Babs said...

The Lord of the Rings is such a great story. I think its even more powerful when its put against the backdrop of WWII which was when Tolkien was writing it. He must have come to the conclusion that they only thing that would get those soldiers through the war was the fellowship that they had for each other. I think thats most exemplified in Sam. And I really love Aragorn's story. Often times, throughout my life, I've often felt like him, inadequate of his birthright, wandering from place to place without any purpose. The only reason he accepts that task before him is because of the love he has for his friends and brothers. Not for glory or pride.

Stace-Ghost said...

This is a great post! I love that you can relate the story to WWII like Babs mentioned and today like you said. It is just a fantastic universal story.

Amber said...

this was a really good blog mom, it gives one alot to think about.