So this weekend Tom and I re-watched the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy. Again. And of course, that's a whole lot of hours to sit before the tv.
I realize that.
But you know? Those three movies are always just the shot in the arm I need. They inspire me to do better and be better. Each time, I walk away with a new shining determination to stop whining about tiny annoyances, to live more courageously and to welcome adventure rather than avoid it.
And yet almost always while The Return of the King plays, I catch myself thinking, "Hmm. This third movie is my least favorite because the majority of it is battle scenes."
And yet the realization returns to me that much of my inner life as a Christian is a battle scene, too. Oh, not that I'm always struggling or that I'm even aware of all those battles. Sometimes, yes, of course. But I mean even here in my home I am tempted to leave the laundry till I can't even close the hampers... or nag Tom if he does what I wouldn't ... or complain about packing his lunch day after day for work ... or only clean the bathroom when it becomes disgusting ... or dread feeding the cats (and giving Lennon his shot) twice a day ... or spend too much money online... or aim for 'good enough' rather than excellence ... or moan about the weather or my house or the people in this world.
And yes, I consider all those seemingly small things personal battles where I must stand strong in order not to lose. Huge things, though they appear small. For if I'm always fudging a little rather than giving my all or always criticizing others or always walking around these rooms with discontentment, laziness or unrest, well, it will show. Those lost battles will affect who I am outside of this home, including who I am in this blog where my goal is to shine a bit of the light Jesus gives to me.
And I do want that light to shine. So today I am grateful for those Lord of the Ring reminders to keep standing, bravely, even here in my home, even when no one else is around. For the battles won on secret battlegrounds matter just as much as those won publicly.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then..." Ephesians 6: 10-14