The Time That We Have
In “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” movie/book there is a point where Frodo laments about being given the burden of the ring. He mentions how he wishes that he had not received the ring nor seen the troubling times they were in. He says, “I wish none of this had happened.”
At this point Gandalf has the following quote: “So do all who see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Although Gandalf and Frodo are fictional characters in a fictional world, the words from Gandalf’s character are quite true in real life. Many see troubling times and all go through various difficulties. We all have our share of troubles we wish we didn’t have—troubles that we need to work through.
Many may say things like Frodo: “I wish none of this had happened”. People may wish they weren’t born or didn’t live in times of war. Those who have lost loved ones due to unnatural causes would wish that the particular events that lead to the death, did not happen. It may even be small things like “I wish I hadn’t said that” or “I wish I had of taken that turn”. Many thoughts may consist of “What Ifs”.
“But that is not for them to decide”. As is stated in Gandalf’s quote, we can’t decide these things. We can’t choose when we are born. We cannot change the past. As Jesus posed the question in Matthew 6:27 “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” Of course, none of us can. There are things that are out of our control.
However, there are some things that are in our control. The latter part of Gandalf’s quote is: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” While we can’t change some things, like the time we are living in or how long we have to live (nor does it help to worry about it), we can decide what actions we will take during the time that we are blessed with.
We don’t know how much time we will be given, as can be seen in Matthew 24:36-44, but we still have now. The things we do in the present are what we can control. We can make decisions that ultimately lead to or lead away from God. Those sorts of decisions are what are in our control. The time that we have is an amazing blessing that we mustn’t waste with worrying about things out of our power to affect or change. We must use it for making decisions that matter.
-- John Thrower Jr.