Okay, you have to give me credit for going this long without making you watch anything from the Lord of the Rings, because I could have filled this entire website with clips. Tolkien not only knew how to create awesome worlds and tell a great story, but he infused his epic with truths about spiritual formation.
In this compilation we watch Gandalf go into free fall. Notice that at the bridge, he doesn’t necessarily fall, he lets go (a brilliant piece of directing by Peter Jackson who showed in that small move that he really grasped the significance of this moment in Gandalf’s transubstantion).
Gandalf the Grey becomes Gandalf the White, and this clip is one of the best visual metaphors for the process of free fall and transubstantiation. Gandalf has to let go, and as he does he enters the darkest moment of his life, falling, struggling, fighting, and eventually he is left to die. But it’s at this moment that he is transubstantiated so much that he doesn’t even recognize his old name. And as Gandalf the White, he is now ready to lead in the epic battle to come.
Now, obviously, this is fantasy, but the principles are the same in real life. We have to experience a free fall and land in the pit before we can be transubstantiated.
Describe moments of free fall in your life. Are you still at the bottom of the pit?