Sunday, January 15, 2012
Now is the Time
If you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father's family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this. (Esther 4:14)
Esther has a lot in common with Frodo Baggins, if you think about it. Esther was a Jew married to the king of Persia, and she risked her life when she went, uninvited, before the king to seek protection for the Jews from the king's advisor Haman. Frodo was a Hobbit living in the Shire whose uncle gave him a magic ring, and he risked his life when he went to the heart of Sauron's land to destroy the ring and save all the people of Middle Earth from destruction.
A bit of a stretch? Maybe, but consider this as well: neither one asked to do the life-threatening task, but both accepted the challenge and both, with the help of other people (including higher powers), managed successful outcomes.
Esther's uncle, Mordecai, asked her to use her position of influence to get the king to help the Jews. She asked him gather the Jewish community and join her and her maids in fasting and praying for three days. She then went to talk to the king, even though she could be put to death for approaching him without being summoned. In the end, the king welcomed her and did as she asked, and the Jews were saved.
Frodo was given the ring as a gift. Though he would gladly give it to Gandalf or Aragorn, he agrees to bear the burden all the way to Mordor and finally destroys it in the fires of Mount Doom, allowing the forces of Sauron to be defeated. Very close to the beginning of the tale, Gandalf visits Frodo to share with him what information he has found out about the ring, and none of it is good. Frodo says of the dismal news, "I wish it need not have happened in my time."
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
This year, I resolve to make the most of the time I am given and the situation in which I find myself. I may wish that things had turned out differently, but I resolve to keep my eyes open for ways I can make a difference. Perhaps God has put me in these circumstances "for such a time as this."