I have started reading The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien.
I am already being affected by this epic story.
One, short portion, not far into Chapter 2, is already working on my heart and mind.
Gandalf explains to Frodo the affect the Ring has had on Gollum and he says,
"All the 'great secrets' of the mountains had turned out to be just empty night: there was nothing more to find out, nothing worth doing, only nasty furtive eating and resentful remembering. He was altogether wretched. He hated the dark, and he hated the light more: he hated everything, and the Ring most of all."
I thought this passage explains the affect that sin can have on people's lives.
Any sin, however small, can become precious to us, can become our "Precious," if we chose it above God.
It can then lure us out of the light, out of right relationship with people around us, with God, away, away, so we can be comfortable with our sin.
Like Gollum, we are enticed into greater and greater darkness, deceiving ourselves into thinking we are going on some truly fulfilling adventure.
But, once we've had our fill of our sin, we find ourselves wretched and miserable and stuck, if we still cling to our sin, unwilling to repent of it.
We don't want to go back into the light that we came from, because light will expose us and our deeds as evil.
But we hate the darkness we are in.
Most of all, though, we hate our sin, that Precious thing that so dominated our lives to lead us away from everything that was good and holy, God and everything like Him.
Who can give us the power to separate from our Precious?
It is Jesus Christ.
His Holy Spirit gives men and women the power to conquer the sin in our lives.
In my own life this has been true.
I can't and won't go into detail about my private matters in this public place, but if you catch me one on one, I will always be frank with you.
Behaviors, desires, etc. that once ruled over me and made me, eventually, despise myself for being ruled are gone from my life to the praise of God's grace.
I have nothing to hide now.
I chose Jesus over my Precious.
I choose Him again everyday.
So now I walk in the light, as He is in the light.
I have fellowship
with God and through God, I can have healthier and healthier relationships with everyone else.
And when I fail, Praise God, the blood of Jesus, His Son, continues to purify me from all
This is why Christians sing, "Oh, precious is the flow that makes me white as snow. No other fount I know. Nothing but the blood of Jesus."
Surprisingly, this one passage in The Fellowship of the Ring has made it so that I can't wait to see what happens to Gollum. As I read on, I hope He finds freedom and redemption in his world for I know I have found it in mine.