“Adventures are not all pony rides in May sunshine.”
That’s a quote from The Hobbit a Tolkien story that is one of my favorites. In that story a homebody hobbit named Bilbo is recruited for the adventure of a lifetime. It’s a noble adventure. But the hobbit is terribly fearful, often tempted to turn back, and frequently wishing to be in his cozy home with the tea kettle singing.
Listen to some of these chapter titles. “Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire,” “Riddles in the Dark,” “Fire and Water.” Good gracious, the hobbit had to walk through some tough chapters on the way to a glorious finish. But guess what? He made it. And before it was all over, he found his courage and defeated a great enemy.
When Tolkien wrote The Hobbit he intended that it reflect the Christian life and our spiritual journey. So it teaches us about the kinds of days and experiences we will have as we go forward with the call God has put on our lives. From the little hobbit we learn that we will not always feel strong or brave as we move forward in faith, but we should keep moving anyway. Feelings are not our master. Sometimes we won’t get the things we are used to, served on time and in the way they were before. The hobbit missed his delicious meals, his comfy couch and his evening tea time.
Yet, in the midst of it all the hobbit found delight in some unexpected and wonderful blessings. Because, although there will be rainy days, hungry days, and scary days, God will have some surprising and delightful provisions for you along your way. One of them is friends. The hobbit knew the joy of good companions, companions with a similar purpose seeking the same end. So, get yourself some Christian friends. The hobbit also knew the wonder of coming across a warm little house (when he was cold and wet) with dinner on the table (when he was absolutely starving) and a sublime bed to sleep in (just when he was at the end of his little rope). When you think you can’t go on, God will do something to fill your cup and give you the rest you need. Just remember to accept the provision when it comes your way. It will strengthen you for the days ahead and keep you from becoming a bitter traveler.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 NIV