I re-watched the Lord of the Rings movies a couple weeks ago and parts of it have been rolling around in my head ever since. If you are not a fan, please stick with me for a bit, I promise you don’t have to know the story to understand my point.

But I’ll give you the briefest synopsis: There is a ring of power made by an evil lord. It can only be destroyed if thrown into the fires in Mount Doom where it was created. The ring embodies the evil desires of its master. After being lost for a very long time, the ring is found by the creature Gollum, but it consumes him and poisons his mind.

Eventually Bilbo the Hobbit finds the ring and claims it. He passes it to his nephew, a pure-hearted Hobbit named Frodo. Eventually, a “Fellowship” of four hobbits, a wizard, an elf, a dwarf and two men set off on a quest to destroy the ring and save all the free people of Middle-Earth. They run into many trials, friends, enemies, and creatures, including Gollum who desires to reclaim his precious ring.

There is a scene towards the end of the first movie where Frodo and the great wizard Gandalf have a significant conversation. Frodo anxiously approaches Gandalf to say that they are being followed. Gandalf already knew and tells Frodo it’s Gollum, following them because he cannot rid himself of the need for the ring.

Frodo’s face hardens and he remarks, “It’s a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance.”

Gandalf appears taken aback and answers, “Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Many that live deserve death, and some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death and judgment…”

Frodo sighs and sits down. “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”

Gandalf replies, “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 to us.”

In less than five minutes we are given two very important life lessons, ones that agree with Scripture. 1) We should be merciful rather than judgmental. 2) We should use our time wisely, perhaps especially during difficult seasons.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…
God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. – Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11-12

Grace & Peace Friends!
Pastor Cindy