Monday, January 14, 2013

tis new to thee

We are such stuff 
As dreams are made on, 
and our little life 
Is rounded with a sleep.
--Prospero, The Tempest

As we dive deeper and deeper into the reality that lies underneath the world, we come to cherish more the external trappings of the world.
Sam and Frodo adventure into the depths of Mordor in order to save the Shire. After experiencing the hell of the lands of shadow and the radiant bliss of Rivendell, and the solemn grandeur of Lorien, they return to the simple Shire.
They have discovered the world beyond, behind, above, and below the Shire. But they go on this journey to return: they travel away from home in order to return and understand how beautiful their home truly is.

How many goodly creatures are there here! 
How beauteous mankind is! 
O brave new world, 
That has such people in't. 

Tis new to Thee

But Frodo and Sam do not save the Shire for themselves. They save it for their nieces and nephews and friends and cousins--they save the Shire for those they love most. They themselves must pass away. They, like Prospero, are parted from their loved ones, and they bequeath to their beloveds a brave new world. But it is not new to them.
They, like Prospero have gained the wisdom that comes from a long sojourn, from growing old in the world; the wisdom that realizes the cost of a freely given gift, and does not hesitate to pay the price.

The gift of grace is free--completely free--and yet costly beyond measure.
It costs so much for Prospero to give his beloved daughter Miranda her brave new world.
But he happily and contentedly pays the price.
The price is that he chooses peace instead of pain, that he chooses forgiveness instead of revenge, and that he chooses unity over division. 
He chooses to live resurrection over living death. He chooses to spread light instead of darkness.
And only these beacons of light can light the way to the brave new world that has such people in't.

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