Journey with Bilbo
December 18, 2012 10 Comments
I’m not sure if it was my love for Shire music, hobbits, Tolkien-ish themes, semi-theology-based storytelling, or all of these combined, but The Hobbit took me for an emotional ride that I was not prepared for. It could also have been that seeing it in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre made it so wonderful and glorious to see good triumphing over evil time and again throughout the movie.
Sarabeth and I were fortunate enough to have my publisher treat us to a 3d viewing of Peter Jackson’s latest masterpiece – and it did not fail to deliver in every way that Peter Jackson typically does.
But, as most movies do, it got me thinking. It got me thinking about my own journey and unwillingness to oblige my calling. Gandalf the Grey shows up unannounced to young Bilbo’s “hole in the ground,” and after he has been asked to join up with the several dwarves who have invaded his home, and he declines, Gandalf says, “Since when did you start caring more about doilies and dishes than about love for adventure?” ( last part paraphrased).
I feel like the Holy Spirit asks me that on a regular bases. At what point did I trade sleeping in for morning devotions? When did I start caring more about catching up on the latest episodes of The Office than engaging my wife? When did having a whole pizza pie to myself become more appealing than throwing a pizza party – just for the heck of it?
Want to know a secret? If money were no issue, and I were given a chance to go to France for a year, I would be hesitant, because I wouldn’t want to leave behind my DVD player, my bookshelves, and Mexican food. Don’t get me wrong! If you feel it in your heart to send Sarabeth and me some plane tickets to travel overseas, you would not be turned down (hint, hint)!
But still, that hesitancy would linger. I’ve grown accustomed to my comforts, and at times (most times) I worship them. It’s easy to lay in bed and dream about exciting scenarios where I fight off armed robbers, offer the last morsel of food to someone else in an apocalyptic setting, travel the world to spread the Good News like some unstoppable Super Christian…
But I still wake up the next morning, turn on the space heater, read a chapter of a book, jot down notes for things to do that day, write my blog post, wake Sarabeth up, feed the dogs, turn on Fox and Friends, and get to work.
But if God called me overseas, would I go? Sarabeth and I have talked about how we would love the opportunity to smuggle children out of trafficking networks and set up orphanages… but we’re still here, in Louisville, KY. Writing blog posts and going to the movies and making grocery lists.
There’s nothing wrong with any of that. I understand mortgages must be paid, children have to be provided for, and toilets need to be fixed. But the question is, if God were to ask you, would you be willing? Would you be ready? Or would you fight it, and waste years of your life fighting something you’re only destined to give in to in the end anyway?
Life is supposed to be an unexpected journey. But we set everything in place to prevent it from being so. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door…” You wonder: will you come back? Maybe not. “But if you do, you won’t be the same.”
At least take a look outside to see if God is standing there, knocking, waiting, calling.