Several weeks ago, I sat with a friend and talked over the direction of my work. As many of my clients do, I saved one of the most important statements ‘til almost the very end of our time together.
“One thing I know for sure is that I’m Sam. I’m not Frodo.”
Among other things I love about this friend is that she got that statement and took it seriously. The more we talked about it, and the more I’ve thought about it since, the more I understood that we were talking about way more than the direction of my work. I think it’s a summary of who God meant me to be.
In The Lord of the Rings, Sam is a hobbit, accompanying Frodo Baggins on his adventure to save Middle Earth. He’s the gardener, swept up in another’s journey and struggle. The journey is not mainly his, but he walks alongside Frodo faithfully and stubbornly. He’s like Aaron holding up Moses’ arms when Moses got tired, or Jonathan helping David find strength in God when David was hiding out in a cave. He’s like Ruth, faithfully and stubbornly sticking with Naomi. He’s like John, taking Mary the mother of Jesus into his home, even as they both grieved Jesus’ death on the cross. He’s like Timothy, bringing Paul’s coat to him in Rome before winter. All of them are supporting characters, serving the purpose of the Author of the story, and something in me resonates with each one of them. I don’t always know what it looks like, and I surely don’t always do it well, but I know that I know that I know the Author of my faith means for me to “be Sam.”
In this year ahead, I hope this blog will be a place to wrestle through what being Sam means. I hope it will encourage other hearts along the way. I imagine it will be full of Scripture and stories and struggles (that may, however, be the last hint of alliteration). Here’s to the journey!