Let It Go
The movie Frozen grossed over $1.2 billion when it was released in 2013. And despite it being my wife’s least favorite movie, I was reminded of the song this past Sunday as a priest’s homily tied Christ’s roles as priest, prophet, and king to Lord of the Rings.
Yup, this is going to be one of those kinds of pieces.
Christ Let It Go
In his homily, the priest outlined how The Lord of the Rings has characters representing the three roles of Christ. Aragorn represents Christ the King, Gandalf represents Christ the Prophet, and Frodo represents Christ the Priest.
The priest pointed out that Frodo is the champion who got the ring — representing humanity’s sins — to the Mount of Doom. Unlike everyone who came before him who had tried to destroy the ring, Frodo got right to the edge of the volcano that would destroy the ring.
But Frodo didn’t do it alone. Sam Gamgee was with him every step of the way. Without him, Frodo would have failed a dozen times. And even then, ring’s temptations are too strong for Frodo. It was only when Gollum’s greed for the ring caused it — and him — to fall into the volcano.
Unlike Gollum and Frodo, Christ let it go. He bore all of our sins, and when it was too much he asked God why He had forsaken him. And then he let it all go, trusting our Lord to bear him to Heaven even though he didn’t feel God’s presence.
The oft-repeated phrase “Let Go and Let God” is an apt lesson for me right now. Unexpected financial challenges and other circumstances left me emotionally despondent last week. I hadn’t been this down in almost two years, when an ex-girlfriend I thought I would marry broke up with me.
To summarize, I began to question my ability to make decisions after some unexpected and substantial work, personal, and financial challenges. I have also been not doing my part to ensure proper prayer at home, among other daily challenges. To add insult to injury, the pipes at our home froze and our dishwasher leaked water across half of the kitchen.
While I was not letting my emotional despondency take me away from my basic responsibilities to my wife, I was also struggling just to get through the day. She was a real trooper despite being ill. She did a great job of not letting me sink into any sort of long-term depression.
But I didn’t really begin to come out of it until I reflected on Frodo and the image of Christ hanging above the altar. While Frodo couldn’t let it go, Christ did — and that’s why He is the ultimate hero, while Frodo needed sin’s greatest addict to ensure final victory.
I needed to let my expectations go. I needed to trust God with it all. Unknowingly, the priest doubled down on this point in a conversation after Mass. He said that it sounded like I needed to lead better at home with prayer, and that rather than put faith in the plan my wife and I put together — I needed to put faith in God.
To paraphrase the priest, my family doesn’t need my plan. They just need me. And I don’t need the plan, I just need God.
Time to let it go. Here’s hoping I can do so for the long term.