So, you know the scene in The Hobbit when thirteen unexpected guests show up, knocking on the perfectly round, green door to Bilbo Baggins’ hobbit hole? Bilbo opens the door for each group, the final group including Thorin Oakenshield and Gandalf the Grey. These unexpected guests welcome themselves into Bilbo’s perfectly-kept home, disrupting what started out as a normal day; everything had been turned to chaos! In the midst of Bilbo’s obvious bewilderment at this disruption to his routing, Gandalf invites him on a grand adventure, and explains that his acceptance of the invitation will land him an important role for the duration of the journey.
To Bilbo Baggins, however, the very idea of that is absolutely preposterous. How could he leave Bag End and everything he found comfort in? Gandalf tries to persuade him, offering Bilbo another chance to join. With perhaps a hint of excitement as he joined in on the conversation with Thorin and Gandalf, Bilbo nevertheless goes to bed without accepting the invitation. Waking up late the next morning Bilbo finds himself alone again in his home. Having a sudden quickening of heart, he uncharacteristically grabs his things and runs out the door! What an unusual change of pace from his typical day… and when he is questioned as he is running, he simply yells back “I’m going on an adventure!”
How would you respond to that situation? Would you stand on firm ground and say no? Or, would you say yes with anticipation of what is to come? God calls each of us into a story He’s writing. Sometimes, our fears of leaving comfort hold us back from whatever adventure God has for us. We can try to plan out our steps, but the Lord ultimately directs our paths (Proverbs 16:1,9). I truly believe that whatever God has called us to is going to be messy, difficult, and downright out of our comfort zone. Leaving the predictability and comfort of Hobbiton and the Shire was the hardest thing Bilbo Baggins had ever been called upon to do, although by journey’s end he would find challenges even greater. But there was so much to gain from all those experiences. It’s even truer for us, then, who follow God’s call! While we’ll face trials, we know that the Lord is fighting for us (Exodus 14:14). There is a full, abundant, overflowing life just on the other side of the invitation…. Where would you find yourself in that?
Alexandria is a worship coordinator for Driven Youth Ministries, and small group leader for Shift Preteens and The One Young Adults. She has a passion for Marvel Movies and graphic novels, as well as The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and anything fantasy. Find her on Twitter at @faitdetoiles