Tuesday, December 29, 2009

“Trust Rather to their Friendship”

Great thoughts on friendship, advice, wisdom and purpose  i especially like the LOTR references and the swipe at the reigning pinhead of the day, Lewis Black  

"Trust Rather to their Friendship"

A young man asked a girl's father for his daughter's hand in marriage. I know the father and the questions he asked the young man come as no surprise to me.

1.     Have you prayed about this? What has God said? How do you know?

2.     Of all the girls in the world, why our daughter?

3.     Tell us what love means to you.

4.     What does it mean to you to be a godly husband? What does it mean to be a godly father?

5.     What does it mean to you to serve your wife? To sacrifice for her?

For anyone in this young man's shoes these questions should be taken more seriously than a shotgun in the father's hands. How prepared are these two to face where life is about to lead them?

The scene as I imagine it also makes me ponder the futility of the questions. All are great questions, well meant, but in some ways unanswerable. I increasingly feel like Oscar Wilde when he said "I am not young enough to know everything." Even in affluent, insured, predictable North America we have no idea what decades will bring any young couple. 

I recently found The Tolkien Professor, the podcasted lectures of an English Professor. In one recording he and another scholar were considering Tolkien's view of knowledge and evil. They looked at a place in the Fellowship of the Ring where Elrond was selecting the team that would take the ring to Mt. Doom. Merry and Pippin, two of Frodo's friends demanded to be included. Elrond puts them off explaining that these young hobbits have no idea of the danger and difficulties they will certainly face and that must color their volunteering. Gandalf surprisingly backs the hobbits saying, "Nor do any of us see clearly. It is true that if these hobbits understood the danger, they would not dare to go. But they would still wish to go, or wish that they dared, and be shamed and unhappy. I think, Elrond, that in this matter it would be well to trust rather to their friendship than to great wisdom."

Read the entire article via the link above. 

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