The one thing we were made for

I have come to believe we were made for one thing.  It is the mountain top of our existence.  How did I come to this conclusion?

I can approach it spiritually.  All of our substitutes for this turn out to be meager crumbs off the table of delight.  We chase after so many things in this life which give only a momentary thrill or a secondary happiness.

I can approach it emotionally.  All of our emotions want to move here, like iron fillings with a magnet.  Even the sad ones.  The reason we allow ourselves to feel anger or grief or hurt is the possible restoration of this one emotion.

I can approach it psychologically.  It just seems that the human body runs better with this one thing.  There is a sense of wholeness and well-being.  We think clearer.  We love deeper.  We act wiser.

But I think the best approach is just a story.  Those who know me know that I am intrigued with Lord of the Rings.  I have read the books and watched the movies multiple times.  The shadow of evil that the ring casts is so dark at times that corruption and despair seem to have the last word.  But not quite.

There is one character in the book that did not make it into the movie, Tom Bombadil. He is a mysterious old man that Frodo and his companions meet in the dangerous Old Forest.  But he is not dangerous at all.  In fact, he appears harmless.  He sings nonsense songs wherever he goes.  His brightly colored clothes make him look like something out of a preschool book.  He is enraptured with his wife, Goldberry.  He doesn’t seem to be bothered about the brewing evil in Middle Earth.  He seems happy to the point of silliness.  But this man is far from silly.

In a pivotal scene in the book, Tom asks for the ring from Frodo.  He takes the terrible thing, puts it on his finger, but does not disappear.  Instead he flings it in the air and gives it back to Frodo.   The ring has no effect on him at all.  Here is one creature in Middle Earth who cannot be sucked into its black vortex.  Why?  Because Tom lives in joy.  It is the deepest defense against evil.

Jesus told his disciples that he would put his joy in them.  And he gives it to all who come after him.  But it is not only a shield against evil.  It’s what we were made for.

About Coach D

I have been a teacher and a coach for many years. My real name is Bill Delvaux, but my students call me Coach D, hence the user name. This blog is about the journey into the unknown I am walking and the landmarks I am navigating along the way. The destination: becoming who I really am as a man. I invite you to join me by reading along every Monday and Thursday.
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10 Responses to The one thing we were made for

  1. Grant Lehman says:

    Thanks for this post, Coach! Tom Bombadil is one of the most mysterious and intriguing characters in Tolkien’s mythos. I have always seen him as standing apart from the main plot, and I appreciate your point about how his joy effectively shields him from the encroaching evil. I love how a seemingly silly character in a fictional universe reflects some of the deepest truths in our world.

    I love reading your posts! Thanks for sending out the invitation to subscribe!

    • Coach D says:

      I love hearing from you. Thanks for your thoughts here. I am reading the book again, and as I got to Tom Bombadil, it just clicked what made him so special. Combine that with some personal experiences of real joy recently, and you see where the post came from. I hope to do some more video blogs also. And I hope to give you a book update soon.
      Say him to Beth for me. And stay in touch!

      Coach D

  2. Trey says:

    I have to agree with Grant, so now Tom is less enigmatic for me. Perhaps he was a visions from J.R.R. about what we were meant to be without sin.

  3. Julianna says:

    It is good to be reminded of the power of the Joy of the Lord. Thank you.

    • Coach D says:

      It is so good to be reminded. It is where we need to struggle to live in. And it is a struggle to get there. Once I’m there, it is such a solid place to stand!

  4. Luke G says:

    A great thought for anyone trying to solve any conspiratorial puzzle.

    Life can be as simple as loving your wife, and loving others, if we let it be that.

    • Coach D says:

      You are so right. I think joy simplifies everything. Sin complicates everything. I loved talking to you and Will at school. Let’s stay in touch and do it again soon.

  5. David Owen Filson says:

    Great post. Like C.S. Lewis’ famous comment about mud pies vs. the offer of a holiday at the sea. We were made for more than we realize.

    • Coach D says:

      Thanks for reading, David! The very feeling of joy has become a pivotal part of my view of the world. It’s when I’m most alive, most integrated, most able to give. It’s also when I feel closest to Jesus.

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