What Excites YOU?

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How many of you are familiar with the trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings”, by J. R. R. Tolkien, whether by reading the books and/or by seeing the films?   His first book, The Hobbit,  was written before the beginning of WWII, and became an unintended introduction to one of the best (if not the best) and most popular fantasy stories of all time, written from before and till after WWII.  The Hobbit was an assigned book in my 12th grade English class, and became at that time my most favorite book.  For a university graduation present, someone gave me that book and a boxed set of the trilogy.  That was in 1972.

How many of you who know the story were excited by the quest to totally defeat the evil Dark Lord Sauron and his mountain by capturing and utterly destroying the powerfully seductive ring which he had made so that he, nor any other person or entity, would ever again cruelly rule the world of Middle Earth (which, interestingly, is what Mediterranean means)?  By destroying the ring, and with it the dark lord and all of his demonized hordes, the “appointed good king”  Aragorn would inherit the kingdom rightfully his, but usurped by Sauron, bringing prospects of peace and joy again to their world and life.  Sauron had built an underground factory of death inside the mountain where his demonized slave warriors made their weapons of brutality.  Fire always came out from the mountain in the darkness of that bleak and evil usurped kingdom.

That is an extremely brief and incomplete account of the simple people’s ragtag army on their way “there, and back again”.  There was great relief, and joy, when the evil power and the evil ‘people’ and demons were fully defeated.  The reader or movie-goer is brought into the war of good vs evil, and most normal people are also jubilant at the victory of those ordinary and extraordinary people who courageously took up the quest despite it being against their otherwise peaceful nature.  Their victory changed their lives, lifted their spirits, brought light and sunshine into their world, and removed the evil threat of those whose sole intent and being was to wipe out all that they were and represented.  The threat had loomed ominously for many years over the homeland area of the “little people”, who were happy folk and productive in their “safe” lives.  Their victory secured peace and tranquility for all.

No giving up; no going back out of fear or unbelief in the necessity of their full victory in their objective; no negotiations and deal-making with the clear enemy; no satisfaction with some temporary “tie/tako”. 

Some more questions:
If you are a coach or an athlete; if your sport is individual or if a team effort; if you are a fan with an interest in the outcome of the contest of whatever the sport – how do you feel when you lose; when you tie (in those competitions that allow for that, and there are not very many); when you win?  If you are in a season’s quest for a title, how do you deal with a disappointing season compared to pre-season expectations; how do you motivate your team or yourself or your fans when you too often come up short, and are satisfied with many ties; how is it when you win and defeat the other side or player and win a title or a championship? 

If you are an educator, and want the best earned outcome for your students for their betterment, and for the application of what they have learned for their lives and as a contributor to their society, what does it feel like when “everyone passes”, without distinction.  No reward for making an effort to learn and to understand the subject.  No one fails, and receives possibly another chance to learn what they did not know or understand before, and can show that they are able to continue on as a better student and have a more realistic attitude about how things work, like even in sports? Are you motivated to be an excellent teacher?  Is a student motivated to do his/her best?

If you are a mother and a father, what sort of person do you want your child/children to be as they grow up to maturity and independence?  Do you train them up in the way the Lord, nurturing and admonishing, or only one without the other, towards the outcome that you hope for?  Do you let them do whatever they want to do, even if being disrespectful towards others, or do you discipline them so that they learn from you an acceptable way of respecting older people, respecting those in proper authority, loving others as themselves, learning how to make good decisions for the right reasons?  Or, could we be the blind leading the blind?

What if God changed His mind about creating a perfect new heavens and new Earth, and decided to let things remain the way they are now:  Satan can still run aroung seeking to devour whoever he can; lawlessness goes on unchecked without any consequence for those who practice it; suffering and war continue without any resounding defeat of the enemy; where there is no certified truth; where those who love the one true living God can not be free to serve and worship Him openly without fear; people die without any hope of a resurrection into what had been promised to be a perfect world, a new creation where perfect love is the law perfectly lived out forever; God decides that every one ever created will be brought back or continue to live artificially – otherwise, He might be guilty of crimes against humanity while fighting His wars — whether they honored Him and loved Him, or whether they did not, but everyone who has persisted in their evil — where nothing ever really matters, where good and evil are only “concepts” without any meaning or distinction — continue to contend with those who love God and were called according to His purpose; where their was no victory over evil or darkness; where Yeshua’s/Jesus’ horrible death on the cross was meaningless and unnecessary; where life may well ebb out with no way to overcome it?

How would you like to read a book like that, to compete in sports like that, to have no  significance or purpose for living, to have nothing to live for, and nothing to die for?

Praise the LORD that most of what I have written above is a false narrativeThe Lord of the Rings is exciting and popular because it presents a rejection of that false narrative and is based upon a true, brave, and hopeful one.  The Bible is the most read book in all history because it gives us the true narrative of life and of history.  A remnant will be saved:  Am Israel Hai!  (The people of Israel live!)  God’s truth; YHVH’s narrative; the Father’s purpose will prevail!  Not by might, not by power, but by the Spirit of YHVH we will be saved, and overcome the world with its false narrative by our faith in Him.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!  And everyone who comes through His cleansing and purifying fire will sit peaceably without fear under his own vine and fig tree, and iniviting others to join them. (Zech 3:8-10

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