It is no secret that I am a huge Tolkien fan.

Lord of the Rings (LOTR) marathons are an almost yearly occurrence in the Drake household. I reference LOTR too often in my preaching. Matamata’s Hobbiton is what I imagine Heaven will look like. I even applied to be an extra on the Amazon Prime series (alas, because I wasn’t available 24/7 for filming, I didn’t make the cut).

Frodo is the unlikely hero of LOTR. He is entrusted with the seemingly impossible task of destroying the ‘One Ring’ in Mt Doom and saving his world. Although the books contain many wonderful characters with their personal missions and battles, Frodo is definitely the hero of the story.

Even a casual reader/watcher of LOTR will agree that although Frodo is the central character and protagonist – he never would have completed his quest without the help of his friends.

Gandalf – the wise guide, Samwise – the best friend, and Aragon – the mentor, to name just three of an extensive fellowship of characters that helped Frodo save Middle-earth.

Growing up, I desperately wanted to be the hero of my story.

I spent large chunks of my childhood daydreaming that I was Luke Skywalker, or Indiana Jones or Rambo or any one of the heroes I saw on the silver screen.

Funny, I never daydreamed of being Luke’s guide – Obi-Wan Kenobi, or Indy’s good friend – Salah or Rambo’s mentor – Colonel Trautman.

I wanted to be the hero of my story. We all want to be the hero of our story.

We grow up (whatever that means), and even though reality relentlessly slaps us in the face, our life goal remains the same for many of us: “I want to be the hero”.

If being the hero is our life goal we will most probably be continually disappointed and forever dissatisfied with life. Why? The depressing truth is that so few of us ever actually become heroes.

But what if our life goal is not to be the hero?

Getting back to LOTR… What if our life goal was to be a guide (Gandalf), or a support (Samwise), or a mentor (Aragon) to someone else’s hero (Frodo) story? To see them succeed?

If being a guide, support, and mentor becomes our life goal, we will be fulfilled. It is called a life of discipleship, and anyone can do it!

Imagine a life where there is no comparison, no jealousy, no envy, no jostling for position, and no self-promotion. Instead, a life where we are all joy-filled and fulfilled because we are all secure in our call to make others successful in their journey with Jesus.

If you could ask Frodo, I am sure he would tell you that his friends were his true heroes.

Don’t be the hero of your story. Be the guide/support/mentor in someone else’s story and truly be their hero.

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:12-13 NLT)