Accepting the Inevitable

Yesterday I participated in a marathon—the 2nd annual “Lord of the Rings” marathon, that is. For just $12.50, I got to see all three movies on the big screen again. It was quite a bargain. And quite a challenge, taking nearly 12 hours to complete.

Some people don’t like to watch movies that they’ve already seen. Me, I have an almost never-ending supply of tolerance for certain films. I like the Ring Trilogy, so I’ve watched it many times. That meant no surprises during the marathon. I always knew exactly what was coming next.

One of the most powerful scenes in the first movie, “The Fellowship of the Ring,” is near the end, when Boromir tries to defend Merry and Pippin from the Uruk-hai. You watch as the biggest, nastiest orc approaches with a bow and arrow. You know what he’s going to do. Time slows down, but does not stop. Thock! The first arrow hits Boromir. It is the beginning of the end. Knowing that Boromir is going to die doesn’t mean that you don’t wish for him to live. But that cannot be. He must die. He must die every single time. That’s how the story goes. By the time the third arrow hits, you have to accept the inevitability of his death.

Real life is much the same. You don’t know when all the bad things are going to happen, but even if you did, you still couldn’t stop them all. Certain bad things will happen no matter what you do. It’s depressing.

The marathon continued. Eventually, the story turned more positive. And then it occurred to me: the happy events in the story also have to happen every single time. Gandalf came back to life. Gandalf will always come back to life. Sauron was defeated. Sauron will always be defeated. Good things are inevitable, too.

Good things are inevitable. I want to print that sentence out in giant letters and frame it.

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