The Zing Factor! – The reason the greats are great.

by Jun 23, 2001Critical Viewpoints

For the longest time I could remember that I wanted to do something great. I wanted to be one of the greats. I wanted to be part of a select few. I wanted to be in a catergory like Copernicus, Plato, Da Vinci, and Arestotle. I have always envied them. Throughout history they stand out. What makes them so special? What sperates them from the ordinary? Why was it Da Vinci and not some other guy?

I think I know the answer and I have J.R.R. Tolkien to thank for it. Ever since I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy 3 years ago I was hooked. Tolkien’s literature has led me to read other great works of art, but his literature stood out from the crowd. There was no other’s who even compared to his, in my mind. But after awhile my desire to read his works grew cold. I didn’t think I would finish all of his literary works.

In the spring of 2001 I was in a car wreck with three of my closesst friends. By God’s grace we were all saved. I wasn’t the worst hurt but I was the second. I dislocated my hip and have been out of commission, you could say, for two months. I have been on bed rest for those healing months. In that time, though, someone brought me The Lord of the Rings trilogy for something to do. The last time I read them it took me 4 months to read the trilogy and The Hobbit; this time however I finished the trilogy in a mere two weeks. In that time my desire came back for Tolkien.

Laying in bed those months I wonderd how did Tolkien do it? How did he make this story in to a legend? I mean The Lord of the Rings is remarkable. As I read the last part of Return of the King I started realizing that the books were his desire. They were his love.

In my life I have been called to be a Christian preacher. I am young and inexperienced, but that doesn’t matter. I know that when I start I want to put that same zing that Tolkien had into my work. It is funny but I never thought I would use The Lord of the Rings is a Christian sermon. I always thought that they had nothing to do with each other, until I read a magazine one day. I don’t know what it was called but it had top ten booklists in it. I read over some of them picking out books that I myself have read when I found a Christian list. I skimmed down it and found that The Lord of the Rings trilogy is number three. I was shocked. Then I started seeing the underling characteristics: the evil bad guy, the hero with lasting hope, and the people whose lives are changed by entering the war. I was amazed on how they were alike. I don’t know if Tolkien planned it that way. But it made me think of another like him, C.S. Lewis.

In closing, I have now made it my goal to have that desire. In a biography I read over Tolkien it said that as he finished his series he had tears coming from his eyes. The thing he loved so dearly was finished. That is how I want to be. I want that desire for my work. I want that zing. And I think that is what makes us great. When we find something we have a desire for and we give it our all. The only question is what do you have a zing for?


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