Posted by: William | May 27, 2008

Gollum & Me

Over the past three days, my mother and I have watched the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy, extended versions, on DVD. I’d seen the first one several times and the second one two or three times, but the third one I hadn’t seen since the theaters, and hence never seen the extra footage from the extended DVD. My mother had never seen any of them, and after recently watching the new Indiana Jones movie and Prince Caspian, felt like she wanted to catch up some.

gollum Most everyone is familiar with the movies, and the creature Gollum. The skinny, big eyed, schizophrenic, ring-of-power withdraw patient. Now, I’m sure that many have made this comparison before me, perhaps that was even the original intention in designing such a character—but of all the characters in the entire set of movies, I think that I identified with Gollum the most closely. Of course there are plenty of other characters anyone would rather see themselves as, but in the soberest of realities, Gollum is the closest comparison.

There are some times when my own conversations with myself, about sin, mirror the creature’s debates over how to get back his beloved ring. It’s a striking parallel sometimes.

I can see, again, Paul’s inner struggle in Romans 7:14-24:

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

However, unlike Gollum, who’s divided person met his end in flames, clutching his ring in hand, I can say with Paul, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25) I will not share in Gollum’s fate.

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