Sometimes metaphors jump out at me. Often they come in the form of dreams, or in a turn of phrase; sometimes one can emerge from a comment overheard on a train. But my current favourite metaphor is appearing in the real world - first of all in the form of the Olympic Torch and its nightly ceremonies; then during the Diamond Jubilee - the lighting of the beacons.
I wrote about this in a previous post, inspired by my enduring attraction to the lighting of the beacons sequence in The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.
In the film it seemed that all hope was lost, but then a hobbit manages to light the first beacon that leads to a string of beacons being lit across the mountains, resulting in the call for help being received and responded to by the King of Rohan.
These beacons had been in place for a long time but it took the actions of an ordinary and seemingly insignificant soul - inspired by an old wizard - to ignite them. As Gandalf proclaimed, “Hope is kindled.” And that’s how I feel today.
Because, thanks to the members of the amazing Inspired Entrepreneur community - my own fellowship - I feel that a group of ordinary souls can act to kindle hope in others. And all thanks to our “old wizard”, Nick Williams, without whose gentle wisdom and inspiring leadership the beacons of hope may not have been kindled within us.
So now my metaphor is developing; each beacon allows another to ignite, calling the next to shine brightly in the midst of darkness. And thanks to the random wonder of the internet, I stumbled upon these words by Andy Goodacre, a chaplain in Tasmania, writing about the lighting of the beacons in the Lord of the Rings:
“For many of us, it can be hard to imagine what difference just a few of us building community together can really make it the world, even if we do manage to shine brightly before others.”
And he offers a quote from the Bible (Matthew 5:14-16), for which I’m grateful. I’m not a Christian, but I resonate with the wisdom:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others.”
So perhaps the world is depending on all of us to answer our calling and allow our light to shine so that the next beacon can be kindled. I’ll just go and check with Gandalf…