Gandalf the Grey

“But such a thing has not happened before, that Gandalf broke tryst and did not come when he promised. An account to the Ring-bearer of so strange an event was required, I think.” – J.R.R. Tolkein

I am currently re-reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and have just passed the end of the Council of Elrond. (If you have no idea what that means, have no fear. You don’t need to.) It is the most tedious chapter of all three books (in my opinion) but includes several of my favorite quotes from all three books. Now that I have slogged through that chapter, the rest is all battles and tense moments of “Which way shall we turn?” and “I cannot carry it, but I can carry you!” I purposely haven’t watched the movies for several years so that I would forget what it looked like and get to experience the world of Middle Earth anew.
Last night while I was reading I decided that I would like to be more like Gandalf (a very old and very wise wizard.) He is humorous in a witty and clever way, he knows a great deal about very many things, he keeps his cards close to his chest until he knows he needs help, he never seems to give up hope that good can win over evil, and he always does exactly as he says he will do. (With the one exception noted above.)
Those last two are the toughest for me. Remembering that light can win over dark is a challenge I have to step up to each day. I have to remember that the end has already been written and that although it may look like doom is inevitable, there is always that glimmer, that sliver, that moment, when doom is shaken and good prevails.
And in terms of keeping my word, my intentions are always good. I always mean to do as I say. I just think, “Oh, I’ll do that eventually.” But getting around to it is not the same as keeping your word. The spirit of the law applies in promises – even things like losing a bet to owe your friend a steak dinner, or building a fake bookshelf. If I say it, I need to do it. Schedule it. Make it happen. And if I need inspiration, I shall stroke my beard and puff on my pipe and think, “What would Gandalf do?”


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