When All Other Lights Go Out

The Gift of Light

Hobbits, elves, men, dwarves, orcs, black riders, wizards, a dark lord, a ring of power and much more, this is the world that J.R.R Tolkien introduced to us back in 1954, the epic adventure “Lord of the Rings” a phenomena that has spread worldwide.  Separated into 3 books “Fellowship of the Ring”, “The Two Towers” and “Return of the King” the story follows a humble and simple hobbit Frodo Baggins and his eight companions as they set out on a quest to Mordor to destroy the ring of power.  In the first novel “Fellowship of the Ring” Frodo and his friends find refuge in Lothlorien home of the elves, after being given good counsel from the elf queen Galadriel the companions set out to continue their journey to Mordor but before they do each member of the team is given a gift.   The gift Frodo Baggins is given is the one I want us to focus on

Galadriel: “Farewell Frodo Baggins, I give you the light of Elendil our most beloved star!  May it be a light for you in dark places…when all other lights go out!”

There are so many life lessons, encouraging things that we can extract from this metaphoric and allegorical tale and apply them to our daily lives.  One of which is this spiritual force called light.

What is Light?

Some say light is the flame of the human spirit, a direct line of communication with God and/or the positive energy that makes the world a better place.  None of these answers are incorrect all of them carry an element of truth.

Light – Is the lamp of hope invested deep within the human spirit that casts out the evil in our society that ultimately points to an ultimate and superior power source.    

Jesus a radical spiritual revolutionary in his day thousands of years ago had many things to say about light and it’s illuminating effect on humanity.  He taught the people in his audience about the power of their light and to remember to activate that light.

Matthew 5:14 

“You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”  

It is important to understand that in the time of Jesus thousands of years ago this message would have be absolutely bold and controversial as it was empowering to everybody.   You may think there is nothing wrong with that but in those days the Roman empire ruled Israel and most of the known world with an iron fist and strongly discouraged people to think for themselves or step out of the box of their dictatorship.  The very notion or idea of people thinking that they were light and could make a difference to change the world would have been seen as a threat to Rome.  Nevertheless Jesus continued to teach the rich and divine truths of light and life to Israel and when he died his message was passed down to his followers.  Today you can find relics, and artifacts and historical ruins of the Roman Empire all over Italy and the Mediterraneann a distant memory of a once powerful regime but the message of Jesus and his followers still lives on across the globe and in multitudes human of hearts.

Lights Out

After the Fellowship of the Ring leaves Lothlorien equipped with gifts from Galadriel and strong counsel for their quest they encounter many trials and tougher difficulties.   In the midst of the carnage Frodo and his close friend Samwise Gamgee find themselves separated from the rest of the group.  To make a long story short they journey on and slip into Mordor undetected.  However their guide Gollum a treacherous creature betrays them into the hands of a horrific giant spider named Shelob.  Frodo and Sam find themselves trapped in the lair of a blood thirsty spider an ambassador of death.  When darkness sets in and Frodo cannot find his way through the webs and traps of Shelob and cannot see he remembers the gift Galadriel gave him.  Frodo reaches for the “Light of Elendil” and lets it shine…in doing so he exposes the obstacles, traps and ultimately his enemy, Shelob who is lying in wait for him.

John 1:4-5

“In Him was life and that life was the light of all mankind.   The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”  

When obstacles arise, impossibilities are taunting you and darkness is on all sides one must reach within the depths of their spirit and draw from another dimension of reality.  The truth is as mere mortals we cannot get through life and overcome without help, guidance, assistance and connection to a superior light.  My heart’s desire for you as you read these stories, examples, and spiritual texts from the hebraic scriptures that your heart would be set on fire and inspired to search for the Light, the true Light that keeps you burning and alive with purpose in this world.

A prime example of defying the odds and shining brightly against the obstacles has to be the clash between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.  On October 30, 1974 Ali gives his bold speech before his “Rumble in the Jungle” match with Foreman.  Many of the sports analysts, experts and people had picked Foreman for the victory over Ali predicting that Ali would have his lights knocked out.  However Ali would pull off one of the greatest upsets in professional boxing history with an 8th round KO against Foreman.

I have wrestled with an alligator
I done tussled with a whale
I done handcuffed lightnin’
Thrown thunder in jail

That’s bad

Only last week, I murdered a rock
Injured a stone
Hospitalized a brick
I’m so mean I make medicine sick 
Bad. Fast. Fast.

Last night I cut the light off in my bedroom, hit the switch, and was in the bed before the room was dark.

All you chumps are gonna bow when I whoop him, all of you, I know you got him, I know you’ve got him picked, but the man’s in trouble, I’m gonna show you how great I am.

– Muhammad Ali

Being a “Fu..ing” Rainbow

Personally I have been extremely blessed to have found friends in my hometown of Kelowna who truly love me, support me and love my light that I shine.  Many of my buddies here know my spiritual beliefs and while they may not share them exactly with me I know that they respect me and I them as people.  This year I have been called a rainbow by many of my friends…but not just a rainbow…a fu..ing rainbow.  Now for some of you that may be offensive to hear but for me it’s a great privilege.  The F word is used regularly in our culture…in a friendly context it is used amongst buddies as the highest form of love and intimate way of saying I love you as my friend.  A rainbow is a combination of colours that ultimately comes from light.  When we look up into the sky and see a rainbow we think of a heavenly land of magical promises and goodies that are in store for us.   I am honoured to be called a fu..ing rainbow.

Ezekiel 1:28 

Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.  This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

When all other lights go out…people should see your light, they should taste the rainbow and long to know where the light is coming from.

I will leave you with these words from an incredible poem on our personal mandate to shine when “all other light go out”:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

– Marianne Williamson

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