I JUST GOT HOME from seeing “The Hobbit” with my son.
There’s an inspiring line in the movie—as there should be, since the sucker runs nearly three hours.
This particular line has been getting some attention. I first heard it quoted by my pastor.
Here’s the scene.
Gandalf (played by Ian McKellen)—the good wizard from “The Lord of the Rings” trio of movies—is talking with Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), the hot-looking, mind-reading elf from the same movies.
Lady elf understands why Gandalf is leading a group of dwarfs to take back their mountain home, which is now inhabited by a dragon.
But she can’t figure out why he’s taking along “the Halfling,” the small hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.
So she asks why.
Gandalf says that Saruman, the nasty wizard played by Christopher Lee, believes that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.
“But that it is not what I have found,” Gandalf says.
“I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.”
Let me tell you something about little things.
I write big things. Books that take a year of my life. So far, those books have sold somewhere between 1-2 million copies.
I have no idea what kind of effect those words have on the lives of people I will never meet.
Let me confide something.
There are times when I’m sitting at my desk typing a note of encouragement to one person and the thought occurs to me:
This may be the most important thing I will ever write in my lifetime.
I’ve written notes like that to a relative in prison, a Bible study friend going through a divorce, a near stranger struggling with unemployment.
I don’t know where the thought comes from.
Maybe it’s just wishful thinking.
Or maybe it’s more.
Maybe it’s the truth.
Little things can make a big difference.
In the movies.
And in our lives.
Once, several years ago when my daughter’s heart had been broken, I told her not to worry because someday her prince would come.
Just a sentence. I don’t even remember telling her that.
But it stuck with her enough that the theme of her wedding later this year is going to be the prince and princess.
She’s even planning a father/daughter dance to a song that commemorates those fleeting words I spoke.
I’m going to do more little things in the year ahead.