In the Harry Potter series, Harry is told time and again to not do whatever it is he is planning, and time and time again he defies the order and saves the day. He is seen as rash and impulsive and immature by Professors Snape and Umbridge, but also as heroic and valiant by most of the rest of the wizarding world. As he ages, he learns patience, and, more importantly, he learns to have faith in Dumbledore.
In the very first book, Harry learns of the general hero worship that many students have for Dumbledore, but also sees him as a human when he realizes that the professor has left the castle just in time for Quirrel to take the Sorcerer’s Stone. He rebels against McGonagall’s orders and goes after Voldemort himself. In The Order of the Phoenix, he spends more time in detention and teaching an illegal defense course than he does behaving the way Dumbledore and McGonagall want him to.
In the beginning of the sixth book, Dumbledore tells Harry that they are going to have private lessons for the next year, and he accepts with eagerness and excitement.
As they begin the tutelage, Harry expects to learn about defensive magic, strong offensive spells and evasive enchantments, but when he gets to Dumbledore’s office for the first lesson, Dumbledore pulls out his Pensieve, a stone container in which he stores thoughts and memories. The plan is not so much to teach Harry spells and charms, but about Voldemort himself. Not entirely understanding of why, he follows the older man’s guidance anyway.
Dumbledore takes Harry into the memory of an old employee of the Ministry of Magic to see Voldemort’s mother as a young girl, to begin to explain how Tom Riddle became so evil. He also shows his own memory, in which he visits the young Riddle in his orphanage and begins to suspect that all may not be well in the child. After this second meeting, Harry tells Ron and Hermione about the child Voldemort. They all agree that it is fascinating, and that it will help him survive his final meeting with the villain, but do not understand how. Harry just accepts that Dumbledore knows what he’s doing. He has faith in the older man’s knowledge.
He learns that Voldemort found and murdered his own father and grandparents, framing his own uncle, and tried to learn as much as he could about Horcruxes—a magical implement of which even Hermione has never heard, and on which no book from the Hogwart’s library’s restricted section will more than mention. They also explore some memories that Dumbledore has gathered from people that have come into contact with Tom Riddle before his transformation into Voldemort that show evidence of his victims from whom he took objects of value or significance.
In the last memory they explore together, Professor Slughorn and Riddle are discussing Horcruxes and how they are made. Horcrux is the word used for an object in which a person has concealed a part of their soul by killing another human being. But the information that Riddle is actually looking for is what happens when a person splits their soul into seven pieces.
Harry now understands that to destroy Voldemort, he must find and destroy the seven Horcruxes. He got one in his first year, Dumbledore had destroyed one before the sixth year started, and the seventh is in Voldemort’s regenerated body. There are only four others to be found. Harry finds his faith in Dumbledore’s lessons rewarded, and when Dumbledore tells him he has found another, Harry agrees to come, agreeing to contingencies he never would have before.
The condition under which Harry is allowed to accompany Dumbledore is simply that he must obey every order he is given, such as run, hide, or go back. Completely contrary to his nature as these conditions are, Harry agrees and they set forth.
Through the course of the night, Harry allows Dumbledore to cut his hand and use his own blood to open a hidden door. He waits patiently as Dumbledore slowly leads him around an underground lake, muttering quiet spells. He sits by as Dumbledore magicks a glass into existence and begins to drink a potion left by Voldemort to protect his Horcrux. And when the potion starts to drive Dumbledore mad with pain, Harry forces him to drink the rest.
Never before have we seen Harry follow direction so well, with so little fight. We know from previous books that he does not like to see his friends suffer, and in reading that passage, we see how much it hurts him to force Dumbledore to drink the poison. But Harry has enough faith in the headmaster to follow his instructions, whether he wanted to or not, and in the end, they made it out okay with the locket hidden on the lake.
In life, do we have enough faith to follow what God tells us to do? His authority is much higher than Dumbledore’s, and his power mightier, and yet in our everyday lives, we rebel against him all the time. Sure Harry is fictional, so it is easier to have him follow instructions. He also has a person standing in front of him, looking him in the eye and telling him in no uncertain terms what to do. Who has not wished at some point that God would do that for us? Why is it so hard to follow God? Maybe it comes with a familiarity with him. Harry grew not only more mature, but closer to Dumbledore, and in that intimacy, learned to trust. This is the first year that Harry spent regular, intentional time with Dumbledore, and he felt more at peace with what was going on than in any other book of the series. Were God to ask us to do something completely against our nature, on the condition that we will not revert to our nature at any point in the process, how able would we be to do it?