Well, the Christmas season is wrapping up (or unwrapping, seen differently). The gifts have pretty much all been exchanged; the parties are becoming fewer and fewer; the lights have perhaps lost a bit of that magical twinkle the get before Christmas; but the gift of God, our Savior Jesus Christ, still lives on! His influence in our lives will still continue, undimmed by calendar days.
I have been thinking recently about this gift to us. I have blogged previously about how we can be "snatched" out of our misery, how we should pump up by living the commandments and focusing on Christ. Today I wanted to talk about another aspect of Christ's gift to us (for truly the facets are limitless)--His ability to carry us when we can go no farther. I often think about J.R.R Tolkein's masterpiece trilogy, The Lord of the Rings as it relates to our everyday struggles. Now I'm not suggesting you have to bat away stray nazguls from your sedan before you go to work or fight off a horde of Uruk'hai (cat's out of the bag--I'm a geek...I do know these things) before you check out at the supermarket. I am saying, however, that we all face perils and our roads are fraught with dangers that we often can't see.
I love the last scene in the movie The Return of the King where Frodo and Sam are trying to make it up the slope of Mt. Doom to cast the accursed ring into the pit. At one point, Frodo is about to give up--the volcano is erupting, the burden on his soul is crushing down, and all seems lost. He turns to Sam and expresses his disappointment and dejection at his seeming failure to accomplish his task. Ever vigilant, a true friend to the bitter end, Samwise Gamgee looks Frodo straight in the eye, and declares, voice buckling with emotion, "I can't carry the ring, Mr. Frodo...but I can carry you!" He musters his last ounces of strength and hoists Frodo up the mountain to the ultimate fulfillment of their quest.
Can you see the parallel? We all have times in our lives when we simply cannot go any farther. We have reached the end of our capacity, and we cannot, on our own, continue our climb. That's when Jesus Christ looks at each of us and says "I can carry you!" And He does. I know that He loves us enough to suffer all things and die for us so we can be carried, for he "is mighty to save", as the scriptures say.
So while you're taking down lights and preparing for 2011, I would invite you all to continue to reflect upon the Savior's gifts to you. Because He will carry you when you can't make another step.