The Glorious Church


I’m a huge Lord Of The Rings Fan. I was introduced to Tolkien and the Hobbit back in eighth grade algebra with Mr. Parkinson. I was in desperate need of extra credit (notice the emphasis added!).  For those of us who were sinking fast, Mr. Parkinson offered extra points if we read The Hobbit and gave a short a report. What it had to do with algebra, I still do not know, but like any drowning man, I grasped for a lifeline!

It so happened that our family was traveling out of state for a wedding; so I had a few hours to occupy. It did not take long, and I was totally immersed and wandering the Shire.  From here I went on and read The Lord Of The Rings trilogy numerous times. In fact, my son eventually picked up my copies and has worn them out! (Oh, by the way, I did pass the class.)

So what is the deal about The Hobbit now? This past Christmas while visiting relatives, I caught a few minutes of The Two Towers and was enthralled with Gollum/Smeagol. Also, just today, via a facebook post, the idea if Tolkien had some significant meaning he was trying to convey was brought up. Thus the trip down memory lane.

Now I am not sure if there is a deep meaning to Tolkien’s writing, but I did see how the life of Gollum/Smeagol can be a metaphor for a life focused on things.  The following is a very short bio of Gollum/Smeagol:

Gollum, originally known as Sméagol or Trahald, was a creature of Hobbit origin. The name Gollum was derived from the disgusting gurgling, choking cough he made. He had been deformed and twisted in both body and mind by the corruption of the Ring. His chief desire was to possess the Ring which had enslaved him, and he pursued it for many years after he had lost it. Lord Of The Rings Wikia

What we see in the life of Smeagol is what happens when something we have a hold of, gets a hold of us!

The transformation of Smeagol to Gollum reveals to us how the things we hold “precious” can transform our attitude with resulting behavior. We get to the place we will protect what is “precious” by whatever means necessary, even to the detriment of others well being.

Now, not saying because we value some things we are going to turn into Gollum. It is not like we are going to lose our hair (most of us anyway), develop a hunchback and crave raw fish (sushi excluded) and kill people! Yet I wonder if we do develop a deformed spirit and leave casualties in our wake. How many marriages have been destroyed, businesses failed, relationships severed, finances bankrupted and the Kingdom stalled because we have given everything to protect our “precious?”

I understand, that things are not wrong. Many times we start out with the right intentions, yet somewhere along the line what we have a hold of, gets a hold on us. Jesus, instructing his disciples regarding their life’s priorities warns them of their focus: “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”(1)  Further Jesus states that whatever is in our hearts, good or bad, will be what is produced in our lives. (2)   So in practical application, what ever we treasure (is “precious” to us) will be what becomes internalized: this then will be expressed in our life.

The hard truth for us to face is this; what I give my time, energy and gifts to, reveals what is “precious” to me! So the question we all need to ask ourselves:

What’s my “precious?”



(1) Luke 12:34 NLT

(2) Luke 6:45 NLT

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Comment by Martin Schmaltz on January 8, 2011 at 7:22am
Thanks Sid. Trust all is well.

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