Saturday, July 06, 2013

You Shall Not Pass

I admit I am sort of a film nerd, No Etiquette Regarding Drama. My husband and I both, enjoy watching American and foreign films with subtitles so that we can absorb all of the beautiful language being said. We are guilty of pausing a movie just to discuss the use of language, lighting and or acting in a scene. We are guilty of using quotes from films we watched in our everyday conversations. In fact, we love to throw each other off with random quotes to see if the other picks up on the origin of the quote. One of our favorite films is The Lord of the Rings trilogy. They are quite long and filled with beautiful messages about friendship, faith, good and evil. One of the best quotes from the film is “You shall not pass!”

“You shall not pass!” is infamous both historically and as a part of literature and film. In short, the French translation, “Ils ne passeront pas” meaning “They shall not pass” was used in the Battle of Verdun in World War I by a French General named Robert Nivelle. It was later used on propaganda posters and added to military badges in the same war. But,“You shall not pass” is more widely known by our present day culture, as the phrase Gandalf the Grey, makes in the 2001 film “The Fellowship of the Ring”, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Gandalf and his companions are being pursued by a Balrog (a demonic entity) and he makes the bold declaration that this enemy cannot pass beyond the place he stands. With his staff in hand, he breaks the narrow ground to allow his companions to escape. It is his boldness and courage that makes this scene so riveting to me. In the face of a big, scary demonic force, Gandalf does not cower and he doesn’t try to be brave. He is reacting based on his knowledge of things. He is conscience of his companions and of the mission they have set out to accomplish and makes a decision. He draws a line in the middle of the chaos and his fears with his words, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” Eventually, his companions escape and he is swept into an abyss where he wars with and overcomes the Balrog. His companions fear him dead but he arrives at an opportune time glowing and effervescent, no longer Gandalf the Grey but Gandalf the White.

I hope that wasn’t too grueling for you, and thank you for tolerating my nerdom. I was recently reminded of the phrase in conversation with my husband. He reminded and encouraged me, that if we (he and I, and any believer) ever intend to see the manifestation of God’s promises (no matter how extreme or farfetched the idea), we must draw a line somewhere. We must essentially say to any opposing views and even our so called common senses…“You shall not pass!”

Problem is we have a tendency to forget things especially in the heat of battle. I know. I’ve been there. I’ve been in the middle of the storm, asking myself, “What should I do? Which way should I go?” Some months ago, 8 to be exact I was laid off from my job. I have been on a number of interviews. Some good opportunities and others, let’s just say, I was OVER qualified for. I have at times felt confused about my future. What shall I do? What should I expect? Should I be looking for another job? Should I be focused on my writing? Should I go back to school? Last week, I had an interview that I knew I was over qualified for and I knew that I wasn’t going to get it because I knew that it wasn’t God’s will. And I said, to myself, “Self, what are you doing?” I love God because even when I talk to myself, he answers me.

He said, “Confusion occurs when you stop believing what you first believed. What did you believe about your circumstance when you first got laid off?”

I answered, “I believed that it was your will. I believed that I was being promoted.”

“Then draw a line.” The words that my husband had spoken reverberated in my soul.

You see, everybody was born with a purpose. Everybody is good at something. Every day of your life according to Psalm 139, verse 16 was recorded,

“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

So I am drawing a line. I’m taking a stand. Why should I be looking for anything less than what God said would happen in my life? Why should I be settled on conformity when God has said that I am extraordinary? "Why should I try and fit in when I was born to standout?" (Dr. Suess) We all have been met with circumstances that threaten us and make us afraid. But we can either choose to cower in the face of adversity or stand up against it. “You shall not pass!” To the enemy of your life and mine, we must be violently aggressive concerning the defense of our companions, and our mission in life. We cannot settle for what is common and expect uncommon results. It is when we are in the fire, the extremes of life that we are cast from mediocrity to sensational hero. It is where we become more of who we really are.

Gandalf the Grey was transformed when he took a stand on a very narrow bridge of hope; and confronted the evil that sought to overtake him and his companions. He contended with the enemy with these words, “You shall not pass!” For you and I our revelation of God and our expectation in him must be so elevated that we could never settle for anything less than His very best!

In His Love, Natrietia

No comments: