Yesterday, I had the immense pleasure of going to the city library downtown and collecting a few books for some pleasure reading. Of the five nerdy books I chose, the first one I have begun is J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers. Considering I did my Senior Honors Project on Tolkien, one can draw the accurate conclusion that I love him and his Lord of the Rings trilogy.
As I was reading, I was struck by a truth I had overlooked before.
“Well, we have no time to ponder riddles,” said Gimli. “Let us bear Boromir away.”
“But after that we must guess the riddles, if we are to choose our course rightly,” answered Aragorn.
“Maybe there is no right choice,” said Gimli.
To give the simplified version of what’s happened, Boromir has just been killed by the enemy, and the Company has dissolved.
Two hobbits have been kidnapped, and the other two who literally carry the balance of good and evil in their pockets are nowhere to be found.
Now, the remaining three must decide whether they pursue the two kidnapped friends or Frodo and Sam, the ring-bearer and his friend.
Aragorn’s decision rests on his being guided by the riddles of some unfamiliar body armor and weaponry that have been left behind by the enemy. If he can solve the riddle, he can make the right choice as to what should be done.
Gimli’s response may seem negative or foreboding, but I honestly don’t think it is. I believe he is speaking from a place of wisdom.
“Maybe there is no right choice.”
In a situation where the remaining three from the Company must decide which set of friends to help, Gimli understood that there really wasn’t one choice better than the other. Both parties were in tough situations and both were the Company’s friends.
James 1:5 reads, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
I think sometimes we get so caught up in choosing the right course that we become inactive and ineffective. We don’t see a sign indicating which way we need to proceed so we stop in our tracks and wait.
We flip through pages in Scripture trying to find the answer we are looking for, and we pray for guidance on which path to choose. But the problem comes when during this period of waiting, we reach a standstill.
Our daily Bible reading turns into a mystery novel where we must work to piece together the clues. Our prayers become eloquently worded pleas that are shaded by our fear of making a wrong choice. Our eyes turn their focus from Christ to the crossroad, and we wonder why nothing is happening.
If we ask God for wisdom, He will give it to us. Generously. Without reproach.
He isn’t hiding the right course from us, but sometimes He does ask that we move.
Now, in some situations there are obvious wrong choices, and I am not addressing those today. I am speaking to the questions of “Which ministry should I serve in?” or “How can I help my community see God?” etc.
Sometimes God will ask you to move in faith, and He will open and close all the right doors.
We may be seeking the perfect course, but in some cases there is no right answer.
If you are in the service of the Lord, and you are using your skills and talents to honor Him, then that’s the right course. In His Word we read that faith without action is dead (James 2:14).
Faith and action are necessary.
So, brothers and sisters, I encourage you today to stop using God’s Word to see what you can get out of it and approach Scripture with a humble heart willing to be taught and molded. When you pray, pray with faith and begin with praise. Worship is the foundation of developing a strong line of communication between you and God.
Trust that He has a plan for you, and that His goal isn’t to leave you hanging in limbo. Be willing to move forward in faith. And believe that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion in the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6).