Sunday, June 08, 2008

Why We Keep Struggling

Lately I have learned a lot more about what it is like for many, if not all, people who devote themselves fully to sharing their love of God with others. It is difficult. There are problems.
They may become discouraged.

Even with the cosy little set up I have here in Oregon, I struggle. Friends struggle in the inner cities. Others struggle in poor countries. Why do we keep struggling? Why not give up? I recalled a passage in the Lord of the Rings trilogy where Sam has to encourage Frodo. It works for me, perhaps it will work for you:

Sam Gamgee: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding on to Sam?

Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

--- Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
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