Thursday, April 16, 2009

What Is Meant, An Encouraging Thought

I was watching Lord of the Rings (Fellowship of the Ring) the other night and was rivited by this conversation between Gandalf and Frodo, after Frodo discoverd Gollum following them through the mines of Moria.

Gandalf: He hates and loves the Ring, as he hates and loves himself. He will never be rid of his need for it.

Frodo: It's a pity Bilbo didn't kill him when he had the chance.

Gandalf: Pity? It is pity that stayed Bilbo's hand! Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death and judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill... before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.

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 to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you also were meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.
I'm not sure what I can make the Ring represent. Sometimes I think it's sin, or a treacherous desire, or addiction. Sometimes I think it's marriage. Either way, Gandalf's words are very profound to me. Like anyone who has been betrayed by their spouse, I have spent my share of thoughts wishing I had heeded all the warning signs and never married this dysfunctional man at all. Wishing I had loved myself just a little more back then, and had higher expectations of the man to whom I would promise my heart. Sometimes I dare to let into my mind the terrible, futile wish that I'd "killed" the marriage when I'd had the chance... at the fist disclosure of infidelity, back when we only had two kids . They are sad, crushing wishes to wish.

But there are other forces at work in this world besides the will of evil. I know we could argue for hours about predestination and whether or not I was meant to marry my husband. I think that when we think of 'meant' we get the sense that there is some mind authoring the intention, and it certainly wasn't our own mind. We wouldn't mean for betrayal and heartache to happen to ourselves! And if it wasn't our own mind, that means we are out of control, and who is this that intends for us such grief and sorrow?! Because one would only mean to have good, happy, pleasant things happen to oneself, and if another means something bad to happen, then that person is certainly evil! Right? I projecting my emotions onto the definition of meant?

If I was meant to marry my husband as a part of a greater design by a God whom I firmly believe is good and loving, then the intention was not to harm me. There is no emotional intention, just design. It is not hard for me to imagine how my persevering through this path I'm on could bring about numerous positive results. Historically and generationally, I am working almost from the ground up. On a quilt, I am the ugly brown patch which works beautifully into the big picture. You will gasp in awe when you finally stand back and see it as a whole design...and I am okay with that. It is encouraging to know that you are part of a design, and that everything that is happening to you is not just willy-nilly purposelessness. The only thing I have to worry about is what to do with the time that is given to me. Glorify my Maker, or not. Hate everyone around me, or be at peace. Because even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that before my story is over (including the stories of my children and grandchildren), my addict husband has more parts to play--for good or ill. And the pity I take on him may rule the fate of many. And the suckie thing about fate is that you cannot control whether it will bring you or your loved ones happiness or pain. NOT having pity will result in a different fate, but fate nonetheless. However, we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. And again, I am ok with that. There is freedom in that conclusion because the responsibility to deal out death and judgment has been lifted. It was an impossible ambition anyway.

I have many more questions as to how I am to spend the time that is given to me, and what it should look like. But for right now I know that time should be spent sleeping, so I'll save those for another post...


Mary (MPJ) said...

I love the Lord of the Rings and have often thought of the ways the Ring seemed like addiction. Once early in recovery, my husband and I were fighting and I felt like I saw him transform like Bilbo to a monster grasping for the Ring as he struggled to protect the addiction.

Karen Elaine said...

This is my favorite line of those movies. You've done such a true job of comparing your life and marriage to the words that are filled with gospel love. may your life truly be a beautiful picture as it unfolds in the twists and turns. the pity you have given has many plays yet to come and i look forward to continue seeing how our great God is glorified through you in the midst of the story.