Don’t get discouraged


In the Lord of the Rings movies, Frodo and Sam must travel through a great wasteland in order to destroy a magic ring. This ring will destroy mankind if they fail. The quest to destroy the Ring in the volcano of Mt. Doom takes its toll on Frodo. Frodo is weak and in despair. His friend Sam is there to lift him up. Here is their diologue from the movie “Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King.” (courtesy of YouTube)

Sam – “Do you remember the taste of strawberries?”

Frodo – “No, Sam, I can’t recall the taste of food, nor the sound of water, or the touch of grass. I’m naked in the dark. There’s nothing, no veil, between me, and the Ring of Fire…. I can see him, with my waking eyes!”

Sam: “Then, let’s be rid of it, once and for all! Come on, Mr. Frodo, I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you! Come on!”

Sam proceeds to pick Frodo up off of the ground, and carry him up the mountain to eventually destroy the Ring.

I think that each of us has been to the place where Frodo was. We forget the joys and pleasures of better days. We are consumed by a burden. We are utterly spent and lack strength. We feel that there is nothing between our burden and us. In a way, our heavy burden may even have stolen our identity. It has consumed us and left us dry and desolate. We lose hope.

There is the terrible lonliness that each of our burdens can impose on us. We may tell ourselves that no one can quite understand how hard things can be. No one can really carry our burden for us. While we may be correct in saying that, we are incorrect in thinking that we no hope. That is, while we have burdens that are ours alone to carry, we have others who are ready to pick us up and carry us, burden and all. This is called love.

There are many people who love us, whether we realize it or not. These people are not only for us when we are a fun time, or in a good mood. These people are willing to pick us up, burdens and all. It is true that sometimes we just can’t pull ourselves up and move ahead. We just don’t have the strength to do it. The good news is that we don’t have to do it alone. Others will say to us, “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!” Friends, family, teachers, clergy, and ultimately, God, will do this for us.

Please recognize that many are willing to pick you up and walk with you when you can’t. Open up your eyes to find those people. Pray for those people to be put into your life. Finally, don’t give up on God. If it seems like it has been a long time since God answered your prayers, don’t pack it in and go home, by doing things such as quitting prayer, Mass, and living a clean moral life. Someone once said, “90% of success is just showing up.” Yeah, that is probably true. You can’t win if you don’t show up.

And when all you need to do is allow someone to carry you, then showing up is just about all you need to do, isn’t it?


About erievocations

I am a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, PA. I am an Assistant Vocations Director, tasked with the promotion of seminary recruitment. My blog deals with discernment of vocations, especially to the priesthood, as well as our universal call to be holy.
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