Life is actually Lord of the Rings. Or so says Dr. Moreland. The journey we all are on is one of human flourishing. It’s an adventure, a process, one that continues as long as we live. It’s a continual, day-by-day journey in becoming intimate with God and understanding what He wants for us. It’s an adventure! One of proclamation of the Gospel, and spreading the message. Wherever we go, however we go, it’s all about becoming like Jesus in a constant reforming and remolding of our image into His likeness.

Dr. Moreland describes the bumps, roadblocks, and sometimes utter desperation in our own journey. Sin entered the world with the fall and we live in darkness of its consequences. Separated and alienated from God, we lose sight of our Leader, stumbling along the path in confusion. We have a hard time trusting anyone else to be the leader, and stray from the group as a whole, leaving us alone and isolated, thus prone to attack from the enemy.

Furthermore, Moreland mentions the results of such actions. Open to the attack of the enemy, we fall into ways that do not contribute to our cause, developing a habit and viewpoint of guilt and shame. We hide from the Leader, withdrawing behind trees and bushes, peeking in on our old traveling companions, yet when they invite us to join them again, we scorn them, accusing them of judging us. Terrified of being entirely cut off, we follow at a distance, hidden and prone to the elements that purvey the area away from the safe road.

Thus exposed to the wild animals and elements, we are corrupted and fragmented away from the group. We fall apart and become downcast, lashing out at anyone who even looks like our old companions. Wallowing in a lie of anxiety and fear, we prefer this known existence to one that we have long forgotten. We hide behind the Wildman we have become from living in the wild without the care of the Leader. We have lost ourselves.
But the Leader longs for us to be fulfilled and happy in the truest sense of the words. To pursue character, wisdom, and virtue alongside with Him. Not the carnal pleasures that come with the feral-ness of being the Wildman. Greater purpose lies in following the Leader in the great mission: the goal is more satisfying, longer lasting.

How do we rejoin our group? We deny the selfish pleasures of our own wants and desires, self-denial, and come humbly before the Leader (who has kept careful watch over us the entire time), and seek the betterment of the entire group, rather than ourselves.

Happiness doesn’t always mean satisfaction (in the earthly sense) or instant gratification, or even a life pain free. But it does bring about character, virtue, and wisdom as we seek the end goal of the Leader.

Life is like Lord of the Rings. Moreland said it, and maybe there actually is some truth to it.

Janae Leeke
Class of 2012