Blair: You’re not alone in your uni quest

Blair was a voluntary Multi-Faith chaplain based at USQ Toowoomba. Originally from a technical background, with RAAF service, Blair worked in a wide sphere of the electronics industry, prior to officer training and a subsequent eighteen active years with the Salvation Army, Australia Eastern Territory. Being a licensed Amateur Radio Operator (VK4BBX), Blair often was a Virtual Chaplain late in the evening, providing a global ministry.

One of the most moving scenes for me in the last movie of the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy was when Frodo collapsed on the very slopes of Mount Doom. So near to the end of a long, long journey, with their destination finally in view, the ring-bearer could go no further. Even though victory was so close at hand, the forces of evil were about to win.

At this point Frodo’s faithful companion, Sam, pleaded with his friend to get up and keep going, to finish the task before it was too late. When his fellow hobbit would not stir, Sam, himself exhausted beyond words, said, ‘Come on, Mr Frodo, I can’t carry it (the ring) for you, but I can carry you.’ It was a great struggle, but Sam picked up Frodo and carried him to the heart of Mount Doom, where victory was finally won.

Even though I originally saw The Return of the King many years ago, it remains a sincere and unforgettable theatrical experience for me. But the incident that warmed my heart the evening I first saw the film is largely attributed to the young couple standing in front of me on the escalators after the event. The woman grabbed her partner’s arm and pulled him close. With delight in her eyes and a depth of meaning in her voice, she said, ‘I’m your Sam!’.

At one time or another, each of us needs a Sam. Someone to rescue us from the brink of failure, to communicate confidence and worth in the face of what can feel like impending defeat. Unfortunately, students and staff at USQ are not immune to the ravages of discouragement. At times, when the critics outnumber the supporters, our spirit just longs for a Sam to carry our flag.

During these times, the USQ Multi-Faith support team, is a good place to visit or make contact with. We cannot promise to physically carry you to success, like our hero-hobbit carried Frodo to Mount Doom. However, be assured that a strong, supportive presence remains ongoing with all who embark on their educational journey at USQ.

USQ’s Multi-Faith team recognises the diversity of religious beliefs represented among its students and staff, and respects the importance of spirituality to good health and wellbeing. From spiritual or religious guidance to offering support in bridging a spiritual life with academic development, we’re here to chat.

Often it is as the end of a long, arduous journey, when victory is finally in sight, that our spirits and bodies weary the most. It is at these times that we each need our own Sam to remind us of the battles we’ve already conquered and our capacity to see the journey through. Whatever path you’re walking, the USQ Multi-Faith team are here, you need only reach out to the support that’s waiting for you.

You can find your nearest Sam by visiting the Multi-Faith website


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