The juxtaposition of the two movies could not have been more different.
Deciding to stay current with my now adult children, I (Linda) offered to watch the extended version of The Lord of the Rings. This has all the details, the blood, the gore, the Orcs, the wizards, elves, and whatevers that I don’t even know what to call. Everyone is special and has special powers, and in many ways, no one is special, no one seems to have more power than the evil everywhere.
After an implausible avalanche buries the team on a mountain cliff, Frodo leads the “Fellowship” to the inner mountain caves where still more evil prevails. A wild battle scene ends with a surly snake entangling even the best of the lot, Gandolf (I think that is his name). He’s thrown somewhere and everyone is crying. At least the little Hobbits from the shire (I think that’s right).
At this point, a white-haired, soft-voiced elf-lady speaks to the little leader, Frodo, with strong reassurance: Frodo must carry the ring to its ultimate destination. This ring of power must be carried by someone who isn’t eagerly egoistic to do so.
All this intensity begged for lighter fare. Being a wintry night, we changed the channel to When Calls the Heart. The two genres could not have been more different. Nothing is subtle, overacting and clear speech is the art of these fine portrayers.
The main character, Elizabeth, is now an eligible young widow. But her dear friend, Rosemary, also prompts her: you have a purpose to fulfill. The calling on her life is hers alone.
Two extremely different movies. Two genres, one leading toward war and the battle; one leading toward love and the heart.
Behind all stories is a script writer. But the stories of our lives are also led forward by a grand Script Writer. There is a Master purpose for each of our lives, fulfilled only as we listen for the one Voice that speaks into our own unique calling. And from this calling, each of us must repeatedly choose, whether in battle or in love, to follow His calling.
The apostle Paul understood how easy it was to be both intimidated by evil and distracted by other loves, when he writes to his young protégé Timothy:
“But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Tim 4:5)
As we begin a new year, what’s your purpose or calling? How is this backed up by your gifts, training (or lack of it), and life experiences? Where does a lofty goal now need action plans (yes, even in the midst of this virus)? What next steps do you need to take? What courage will be needed to fulfill your ministry? What endurance to carry it forward?
If Heritage can help you grow up into Him, or equip you for specific service, it’s not too late to sign up for an online course this winter.
Just to note, we rarely watch film media. But in this lockdown, and these wintry nights, we have been blessed by excellent worship concerts, and the occasional story on film.