I'm in on page 108 of The Hobbit by Tolkien. it's one of my goals to read more classic novels this year, and in my mind, this is a classic. In reading these novels I didn't really expect to come upon stories that teach me lessons about myself. At about page 28 in The Hobbit I came upon a part of the story where I realized that I am like Bilbo Baggins.
Bilbo is going about his normal life when Gandalf stops by, awhile later his house is invaded with a party of dwarves. Very important dwarves. Thorin, the most important dwarf, starts the serious part of this very odd gathering by explaining their journey and says, "We shall soon before the break of day start on our long journey, a journey from which some of us, or perhaps all of us...may never return..."
This is Bilbo's response...
"Poor Bilbo couldn't bear it any longer. At may never return he began to feel a shriek coming up inside, and very soon it burst out like the whistle of an engine coming out of a tunnel....Gandalf struck a blue light on the end of his magic staff, and in its fireword glare the poor little hobbit could be seen kneeling on the hearthrug, shaking like a jelly that was melting. Then he fell lat on the floor, and kept on calling out "struck by lightning, struck by lightning!" over and over again..."
they have to put him, in this state, in the other room. Gandalf says, "an excitable little fellow...gets funny queer fits, but he is one of the best, one of the best - as fierce as a dragon in a pinch." and the dwarves continue on with their meeting.
Eventually Bilbo revives a bit and "after a while and a drink he crept nervously to the door of the parlour...then Mr. Baggins turn the handle and went it. The Took side had won."
This Took side that Tolkien writes is Bilbo's adventurous side of his family (you see, hobbits are not adventurous at all but Bilbo had an adventurous relative and that side of his family has always been a bit crazy. yet, until this moment Bilbo had led a quiet life...)
I see a remarkable similarity between this story and my story on an almost daily basis in my relationship with God. God puts me in this place, like Gandalf puts Bilbo in the situation, because He knows the potential I have, the same way Gandalf knows the potential Bilbo has. I think Gandalf knows perfectly well that Bilbo is capable and wants to do it...yet in the midst of this Bilbo has this complete freak out.
How often have I done this with God?
God calls me to this huge, incredible, hard, amazing journey EVERY DAY and nearly every day I spaz out and turn into a blob that quivers and mumbles and melts like jelly. I let out this shrieks of fear and have to be struck by lightning and put in a quiet room until I realize that I do want to be a part of something bigger. I do have this innate desire to greater things. Journeys that are bigger than my everyday comfortable life of eating and sleeping and sitting around. I'm called to fight goblins and find powerful rings and impact those around me.
Ultimately I am called to a journey from which I may never return. It will not be comfortable and I will often think that I wish I were back in my comfortable little hobbit hole. I will be hungry, tired, cold, scared...but the journey is bigger, the mission is more important. Just like Bilbo, my Took side will win me over, God will sigh and say that I am queer but he knows I can be as fierce as a dragon in a pinch. And I will open the door and start my journey.