By nature I am a ‘gusher’. When I like something I cannot just stop talking about it even if am gagged. I remember one night when I woke up early and felt like watching a movie. I felt I would just watch something for about an hour then go back to bed since I was going to work in the morning. That was the end of my sleep because I decided to watch ‘Avatar’ which I had been looking forward to seeing since it came out about two years before. I went to work high that morning, asking everyone whether they had seen ‘Avatar’. It was this overenthusiastic mood that made me meet a great friend (Obaro, do you still remember?). Recently, I was nearly flailed by kith and kin because I could not stop gushing about Sally Kenneth Dadzie of Moskedapages, the literary Queen of Nigeria’s blogging series.
With this background, I hope it would make it easier for you to bear with me as I am about to gush again. This time it is about ‘The Lord of the Rings’, a story monumental both in its written and screen forms. Till forever, I still wonder where the writer, J.R.R Tolkien got such inspiration from. Most times I would rather read than watch because I believe it is almost impossible to capture all the emotions of a book in a movie. For example, I nearly wept out of disappointment when I watched the “Eagle has landed”. The movie nearly made me puke which was unbelievable since I read the book standing up. The excitement could not just make me sit still. However, Peter Jackson, the director of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy was absolutely brilliant. Watching the trilogy takes you through all the colours of the human emotional spectrum. It is world-class!
The part of the movie where Gandalf had to face the balrog, a demon from the ancient world, is even way better than the book version. This bit eternally mesmerizes me. First time I saw it, I kept rewinding to this piece. It is full of inspiration and speaks to me no end.
The Fellowship of the Ring, a motley group of men, was on the way to carry out a destiny-impacting mission when the evil creature appeared to stop them. This is so reminiscent of life.
Thing is, in life we are all on a mission of purpose like the Fellowship of the Ring, whether we realize it or not. For the discerning, the purpose is usually for the destruction of evil. Edward Jenner discovering the cure for smallpox is a leading example. Even as I write, everybody is on a mission. The mission might be that of a husband trying to preserve the fellowship of his wife and family, someone trying to get an educational qualification, another trying to put his finances in place, a mother trying to get pregnant, a bachelor who wants to get married to a good wife, a rebel who knows he is on a wrong track and wants to get back on the path of a divine mandate. Life is absolutely about fellowship (friends, marriage, etc) and purpose (our reason for being).
Then the balrogs come up on the path of life to derail our plans, to stop us in our tracks. Balrogs are purpose killers, dream destroyers. They stand on the way to frustrate and ensure we do not get to our destination. They bring pain and death. Balrogs are demons from the ancient world, challenges that have existed before we were born, situations that take the winds out of our sails, huge problems before which all our resources seem puny. When they come up, we are at our wits end. We do not know what to do, sometimes the horror they unleash (for example, cancer) petrify us.
Gandalf met the balrog at the bridge of Khazad-dum. This bridge in real life is where we are made or broken. It is at this point that victory or doom is determined. This is the place we either slink away like cowardly hyenas into the arid lands of defeat or roar and fight like a wounded lion. It is where a couple having issues might go on to have a divorce or go on to a happily ever after fairy tale. This is where a struggling entrepreneur might jettison his dream or move on to millions and so on.
Question is what do we do when we get to the bridge of Khazad-dum? Gandalf provides the answer to this query. He shows that we must never keel over in a dead faint. We must stand our ground and fight. We must never capitulate but look the balrog square in the eyes and fight for everything we hold dear. Fight for our fellowship, fight for purpose, fight for destiny!
Gandalf told the others to run but he stood. He fought with all that was in him. He refused to be intimidated. He shouted out to the hellish messenger, “You cannot pass. I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udun. Go back to the shadow! You cannot pass.”
He did not walk down the path of dejection wondering why fate dealt him a bad hand. Instead, he refused to have all his plans scuttled. I think in life, we cower easily most times while keeping mum hoping the issues of life will gently pass by. Not Gandalf! The old man did not keep quiet. He kept saying what he wanted even though the odds were against him. He believed he could come out of the battle victorious.
Mind you, Gandalf was not just operating in a realm of bravado. He had faith in his master, what he believed (the Secret Fire) and who he was (wielder of the flame of Anor). He was carrying something, o gbe ina sori, he was a fire carrier. To survive on earth, we need a force behind us, a Secret Power that others might not know about backing us (Psalm 91:1). Without it, we are sunk. Life preys on those who have no backing. Fortunately, our own lot is a whole lot better than Gandalf’s. One, we have The Ancient of Days, who existed before any ancient demon. He is The One who existed before any pesky problem. Secondly, we are not servants, we are sons. Now are we the sons of God! We are also fire carriers because He makes his angels spirits and his ministers flames of fire. To have a fighting chance in life, we must know who we are! Gandalf knew who he was. It is also imperative that we must talk. Talk at and against your adversaries. Silence means certain defeat! The surest way we can know who we are though, is by studying the living letters of God’s word. The dark fire cannot avail our own Fire, because our fire is the Light that shines through the darkness and cannot be withstood by any form of gloom.
Gandalf had a sword and a staff; we have the comforting rod of our Shepherd and the sword of the spirit. So take a stand on the gap and look that bugger of a balrog in the eye. Tell it to go back to the shadows that it cannot pass. Stand for God, yourself, your family, your purpose, your world!
It is important to know that when you engage in such battles, you might get some hits but you will come out victorious. The balrog’s fiery whip caught Gandalf as he was falling and dragged him down with it but in part two of the trilogy, we saw Gandalf resurrected. He had evolved from Gandalf the grey to Gandalf the white, a stronger and better person with more powers. We can only come out better and stronger on the other side. We pass through fire and through water to emerge in a large place of great prosperity.
Be audacious against any kind of destiny destroyer, don’t back down for any reason. Tell that loathsome creature (whatever the balrog stands for in your case) that IT CANNOT PASS!!!