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Weekly Devotionals

My Precious??

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. – Hebrews 12:1-3

My wife and I love The Lord of the Rings series for all the reasons why it was an instant classic since it was first published. It holds within it all the components that make a story transcendent and timeless, and it has certainly proved itself to be such as it is one of the most widely translated and distributed books of all time. We are currently adding to this legacy as we have introduced the LOTR to our 2 daughters and I’m happy to say that they have become enthralled by the lore of Middle Earth!

Now JRR Tolkien (the author) has said that there is no deeper meaning to this story than just the story itself. Nevertheless, it’s clear that the story is replete with many biblical references and metaphors which is another reason why we love LOTR so much.

I bring this up because in our most recent foray through this story (we try to re-watch the movie series once a year or so along with various outtakes, supplemental videos and readings), I realized something that I hadn’t before. Bilbo Baggins was much more of a hero that I had ever realized!

For you see, in the LOTR trilogy, it is Frodo Baggins, nephew of Bilbo Baggins, that gets all the glory and rightly so for he is the new bearer of the Ring of Power. It is Frodo to whom fell the un-enviable responsibility of taking the Ring to have it destroyed once and for all in only place that it could be; in the very place that it was forged, in Mordor, land of Sauron, in the fires of Mount Doom. And in such, the story plays out with Frodo and his Ring-quest being the central axis of it all. Whereas Bilbo, the original Hobbit Ring-bearer, played only a small cameo in this story by simply passing the Ring on to Frodo, thus, setting the stage for epic narrative to unfold.

But alas, I was wrong! For this is where I believe the greatness of Bilbo Baggins comes in as Bilbo Baggins did what many of the greatest in all the history of Middle Earth could not do. He was able to let go of the Ring of Power! Now though it was not for any good reason, but nevertheless, as precious as the Ring was to him, when it was time for him to do so Bilbo was able to let it go. In such, I saw Bilbo in a new light and the following biblical lesson that I believe his actions represent (at least to me! ^^). That there’s nothing in this world that we should care about and hold on to so tightly that we cannot let it go.

So often, we as God’s people get stuck in our faith journey because we cannot let go of certain things. Whether it is because we love it or even hate it, whether it is something bad for us or even good for us, there is stagnation in our faith life because we are trying to hold on to things that we no longer should be holding on to.

Yes brothers and sisters, a big part of a true and healthy faith life will demand us to be able to let things go. Successes or failures, joys or pains, strengths or weaknesses, all things in this life are things that we must hold on to loosely enough to let go of. And this, so that we can move on. And this, so that in their place, we may receive new assignments, experiences, and opportunities from the Lord to continue to grow to be more of who God made us to be.

So what is in your life that you have a hard time letting go of? What in your life would you have a hard time letting go of if it were asked of you? Whatever it may be, I pray that we will identify it (them??) and as our passage states, to throw it off that we may not be hindered in any way from running more and more to our Lord, that again, we may continue to grow to be more of who God made us to be. Amen!