I don’t know if you’re a Harry Potter fan but I am. That used to be a risky claim for a Jesus follower. You’ll just have to trust that even though I’ve read all the books and own all the movies, it hasn’t made me want to dabble in witchcraft. On the contrary, there are lots of great “morals of the story” and good messages woven throughout the series, the biggest one being giving yourself sacrificially for others, or a greater good, is a grand thing to do and evil can’t defeat that kind of love. (First taught to us by Jesus himself!)
The villain in these stories is Voldemort, a narcissist determined to be the most powerful wizard…ever. He also wants to live forever. As a young wizard he finds out about a dark magic device, a horcrux, in which you can split your soul into two pieces, storing one piece in an object apart from your own body for safe keeping. That way you can’t be destroyed if just your body is killed because part of your soul lies elsewhere. Voldemort deducts that if splitting in two pieces helps cheat death, then surely splitting his soul into seven pieces will make him infallible. So he does that very thing, putting the pieces of his soul into several objects, his snake and even Harry.
Well, eventually all the horcruxes, each containing part of Voldemort are discovered and destroyed, the last remaining piece of his soul vulnerable in his failing body and He is killed. No living forever for him. Apparently horcuxes are NOT the answer.
As I sat in the quiet today during my lunch, I was thinking about something I’m hoping for that hasn’t come to be yet. While praying about this something, I realized that I have to keep my focus and make sure that Jesus is the source of my joy and life, not the things I hope for in this world. I need His help with this, because my human heart can become so enamored with a lovely possibility, fascinating gadget, entertaining pasttime. It takes some doing to shift gears to return focus and keep myself centered solely in God.
We can be like Voldemort in a way. We, either intentionally or not, deposit pieces of our hearts and souls into all sorts of people and things here on this earth, in this life, thinking that will fulfill us. We may not think it will make us live forever, but it can make us forget about the forever life ahead of us and get slogged down in all that doesn’t last and doesn’t really matter. Even good things and relationships can become too dear if we rely on them for all that only God can give.
When we give our soul to Jesus, entirely, not just a piece, He will guard it and love it and fulfill it. We will find our true identity, the purest joy, love and life that will really never end. We’ll become more like Him and be less and less concerned with ourselves, whether or not we’re the best, whether or not our wishes are granted or life turns out how we plan.
My lovely possibility is just that and I have to be careful not to rely on it for my joy and life. Jesus said, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” 1
Jesus, forgive me for sometimes placing my hope, my heart and soul in temporary things, ideas, plans, even in being concerned for those I love. I know my only hope and true, full, everlasting life is in You and only You. Turn my eyes from the things here in this earthly life that sparkle but don’t last. All will fade away but You remain. Capture my attention, my gaze, my thoughts, my everything, so that all of me rests in You.
1 Matthew 15:25-26 NLT