I played with my sword today.

I have to tell you why that matters. See, I’m a Lord of the Rings aficionado. Something about that trilogy awakens my heart like nothing else. And I identify closely with Aragorn, the reluctant King of Gondor. He spends a good chunk of his life as a Ranger, hiding from his calling, pensive and unsure, afraid of his weaknesses and perhaps even more afraid of his strength.

The symbol of humanity’s weakness in the trilogy is a Kingly blade called Narsil, shattered in an epic battle against the evil Sauron of Mordor. Well, I was attending a Wild at Heart (John Eldredge) Boot Camp in Colorado a few years ago and he had that broken sword. After one of the sessions, I went to the front and picked it up and realized that I was the broken sword. The sword was me. But during the conference, God asked me to lay that broken blade down, to pick up a new blade, also at the front on the stage. Though feeling unsure and unworthy, my heart accepted the call.

In Return of the King, the elves (symbolic of the angelic, the divine) reforge the broken blade and present it to Aragorn. “Put aside the Ranger,” the Elf King declares. “Become who you were born to be!” Aragorn takes up the sword and never looks back. And God reforged my broken heart. I began to rise into my calling. The name of the reforged sword is “Elendil.” It has runes on it that say, in Elven, “I was Narsil, but now I am Elendil. May the thralls of Mordor flee me.” A new name. A new destiny.

When we wrapped up our nine year run as youth pastor couple in Winkler, Manitoba, my friends were in charge of the gift. Honestly, all I prayed was that they didn’t get me a clock (that’s common for a pastor’s gift).

They bought me Aragorn’s sword, Elendil. I wept. And shook. And learned to wield it and what it represents.

I played with my sword today. It reminds me of who I am. What I’m called to. What’s at stake. Who’s behind me.

Let the thralls of Mordor flee me.