[useless or useful?]
I guess I need to begin with a clarification: I am a Harry Potter fan. Yes, I am a Christian, but I love Harry Potter (and even more, I seriously think that there are countless spiritual lessons packed into those movies).
Today the Chamber was showing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. For those who are not familiar with the HP novels, consider it the Narnia’s Final Battle – the last book of the series. Because the book is quite long (784 pages long, at least the standard one), the decision was made to divide the book into two movies. It was a wise decision because the first part alone got to be 2 hours 23 minutes. However, while I am usually bored with long movies, this one was well done and I did not even notice the time.
With those preliminary notes done, I thought I’d share one of my favorite lessons from the book / movie.
It has to do with the gifts Dumbledore (the late headmaster of Hogwarts, the school) left to Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
Ron received the Deluminator, a thing he thought was supposed to take lights out and then return them. Useful thing when you’re on a run, but other than a cool “gadget” it did not present any meaning… at first.
Hermione received a book, the Tales of Beedle the Bard. Dumbledore knew Hermione well and knew that she loves to read, but to leave her a book of fairy tales especially at times like this when Voldemort is on a rampage? It was another useless gift… at first.
Finally, Harry received his first ever caught Golden Snitch. C’mon, Dumbledore, what’s the point of it right now? Yeah, it’s a good memento of peaceful times, but why would you will it to Harry? So I thought… at first.
As I was reflecting on these gifts that Dumbledore gave to his three closest and dearest students, I thought about the gifts that God gives us.
Don’t know about you, but I definitely had times in my life when I thought, “God, oh, c’mon! That is not the gift I need right now. A book is a good thing, yeah, I love to read, but this book? Now?” Books, meetings, weird situations, random things… or so we think that they are random.
Dumbledore was a great wizard, but he was not omnipotent and omniscient. Neither was he immortal. God, on, the other hand, knows everything, is present everywhere at the same time, and He is eternal. This is why His gifts are uniquely shaped to give us exactly what we need exactly when we need it (even if we do not know that it is something we need.)
Later in the book / movie, Harry, Ron, and Hermione will understand why Dumbledore thought these gifts were the ones they needed. They will discover numerous hints in those gifts that will help them finally defeat the Evil one.
The other thing that I have thought about was… Harry, Ron, and Hermione had a choice to say “I don’t want those gifts! They are useless! We are fighting against such evil here and all that Dumbledore, who is dead, wants to give us is a book, a lighter, and a ball with wings?” But they trusted their deceased wise headmaster enough to accept the gifts and try to understand why he gave them.
There are times in our lives, quite often, when something happens and we think “God, You must be having a joke at my expense…” Maybe it doesn’t even feel like a joke. But it happens and we are facing a choice: what to do with what we were given? Are we going to just discard it and maybe get depressed because we might think God has forgotten us or are we going to ask Him, “What do You want me to do with this, Lord? What are You trying to teach me?”
Have you ever been given a gift that appeared useless at first, but then you discovered its true value?