I don’t know,’ said Frodo. ‘It came to me then, as if I was making it up; but I may have heard it long ago. Certainly it reminds me very much of Bilbo in the last years, before he went away. He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to. Do you realize that this is the very path that goes through Mirkwood, and that if you let it, it might take you to the Lonely Mountain or even further and to worse places?” He used to say that on the path outside the front door at Bag End, especially after he had been out for a long walk.
~J.R.R. Tolkien, from The Lord of the Rings
If Satan was stripped of all his weapons and allowed to retain only one, I’m certain he would keep Discouragement. The uncertainty of life accompanies us all and the balance between good and evil often seems tilted against us. Bad things happen to good people and random chance can carry terrible consequences. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Lord of The Rings over a twelve-year period between 1937 and 1949, which means he wrote it while witnessing the evil unleashed on mankind by the Second World War. Echoing Biblical themes on an epic scale, he wrote a story of the triumph of Good that became a masterpiece of literature.
The theme is Biblical because the Bible tells an even larger story, and it includes you as a main character. Our world often seems out of control and held captive by darkness. The happenstance of life weighs on us like an oppressive force. The triumphant message of the Bible is that no matter how strong our enemy, God is stronger. No matter how weak in the knees we feel when trouble comes, there is a Rock upon which we can stand that will not be moved.
Even when we are in darkness, He is our song in the night.
You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel.
Art: Song Of Songs by Gustave Moreau ( 1853)
Literature: LORD OF THE RINGS by J. R. R. TOLKIEN (1892–1973), First published 1954–1955 by GEO. ALLEN & UNWIN, LONDON
In 1999, an Amazon.com customer poll declared this the book of the century • The Fellowship Of The Ring won four Academy Awards in 2001