As a Christian, no single piece of non-Biblical literature has affected me as directly and as viscerally as has Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The nobility of the protagonists inspires me : it encompasses wisdom, grace, mercy, justice, charity, and, more than anything else, courage. Frodo's courage and faith, in particular - his willingness to take the Ring, "though I do not know the way” - is a source of great inspiration. It forces me to ponder new ways to apply courage and faith in my life, especially when it would be much easier not to, thank you very much. Like all of us, of course, I’ve faced some nasty times in life, and expect a few more. But I cannot believe that anything I'll have to face in my life will ever be as hard as what Frodo and Sam had to do. I now say to myself, when facing an onerous task, “This is really not all that hard.” I thank Peter Jackson and his brilliantly talented cast and crew for pointing me to Tolkien in the first place.
And I can’t put any price on the new friends I have made, thanks to shared love of Tolkien’s great masterpiece.