The Greatest Adventure


“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat:  it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort” (The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien).

Bilbo Baggins loved the comfort of his home. He was content to kick back, go barefoot, eat six meals a day, and NOT have any adventures. However, Bilbo experienced a golden opportunity when he decided to step out of his comfort zone.

Thirteen dwarves and a wizard named Gandalf invited Bilbo to tag along with them on their adventure. Although Bilbo was reluctant to accept this challenge, he found himself caught up in the moment, and he couldn’t turn back.

By mustering up some faith and courage he didn’t know he had, Bilbo experienced the “greatest adventure.” His life was transformed.

In Romans 12:2 Paul gives us the same kind of advice Gandalf gave Bilbo:   “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

The same kind of opportunity awaits us all as we stand on the threshold of 2019. If we are willing to take a look outside our own dens of comfort, we can find goals to reach, children to teach, pews to fill, wounds to heal, stories to write, and metaphorical dragons to fight.

We will never be the same if we allow the Holy Spirit to transform our lives. We can soar with the eagles, we can run through dark and scary caves and not grow weary, we can walk through murky forests and climb misty mountains and not grow faint. (See Isaiah 40:31.)

At the beginning of the hobbit’s story, Bilbo felt ill-equipped to take on an adventure. We may feel the same; we may think ourselves too young or too old, too timid or too bold. We can find numerous excuses if we look for them.

We must, however, put our trust in God and allow Him to lead us out of our comfortable hobbit holes. If we invite Him to be our guide, He will walk beside us the entire way.

In Jeremiah 29:11 God says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

“God created you [and me] to do amazing things” (Ephesians 2:10). I challenge you and myself to begin this new year by accepting the call to adventure.

Get off the couch. Volunteer. Find a new hobby. Write your story. Commit to going to church every Sunday. Commit to a healthier lifestyle. Step out in faith. According to Einstein, “Nothing happens until something moves.”

“[Bilbo] had many hardships and adventures before he got back [home.] The Wild was still Wild, and there were many other things in it in those days beside goblins; but he was well guided and well guarded . . . . He was never in great danger again” (The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien).

The challenge may not be easy, but it will be worth it. Get out there. Take the risk. God will have your back.

hope quote

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.

Today and tomorrow are yet to be said.

The chances, the changes are all yours to make.

The mold of your life is in your hands to break.

The greatest adventure is there if you’re bold.

Let go of the moment that life makes you hold.

To measure the meaning can make you delay;

It’s time you stop thinkin’ and wasting the day.

The man who’s a dreamer and never takes leave

Who thinks of a world that is just make-believe

Will never know passion, will never know pain.

Who sits by the window will one day see rain.

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.

Today and tomorrow are yet to be said.

The chances, the changes are all yours to make.

The mold of your life is in your hands to break.

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.

(from “The Ballad of the Hobbit” by Jules Bass)

“It is better to wear out than rust out.”—Edwin Markham

“Get up, fix up, and show up.”—Eva Thomas

“Do your best, and trust God with the rest.”—Mark Barron

“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.”—St. Augustine

“There is some good in the world, and it’s worth fighting for.”—J. R. R. Tolkien

Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalm 84:5


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