I’m a lot like Bilbo Baggins. In certain circumstances, I’m eager for adventure…Desirous
of living up to who my heritage says I am. In others, threatening to be the predominate
emotion, I am too conscious of comfort available and lean away from adventures.
In Bilbo’s home, he was respectable because he never did what was unexpected. He
followed the rules of his people. But there was something in his heart that demanded
action. Something that ignored the call to live comfortablely. Something that wanted
more than the warmth of a fire and the sound of a singing tea pot. His feet took him out
the door before his logic, clouded by the stale lives of his neighbors, could stop him.
We live in a similar shroud. The world has expectations. No feather ruffling aloud. And
we are tempted to fall in line. We give in. I give in. The comfy chair and the entertaining
television show call to me and I answer. And the part of me that remembers the legends
of my ancestors grows quiet.
Until the moment. The moment when the One who is in me demands attention and I am
awakened. The coal is still burning underneath the ashes. It is stoked and soon I am set
ablaze. We cannot deny who we are – who we were born to be. Our souls cry out for
the life we were meant to live. The Enemy tries to quickly remind us of what a bother it
would all be to step outside our comfort but his words are drowned out by the One who
I`m not riding off in search of dragons but a life in Christ is still a call to adventure. We
belong to a long line of adventurous, unexpected faith. We have been ushered into a
covenant that cannot be broken by the world’s complacency. Descendants of a promise of
true, abundant life. One that offers something greater than comfort – a chance to dwell in
the presence of a king. The King. The real hero.
Why else do we feel such a draw to the extraordinary? Our eyes have been darkened, our
ears stopped, and our emotions dulled in this world of political correctness and Minnesota
nice. But there’s no getting past who we were born to be. Some of us are never willing to
follow where our feet yearn to tread. Others go without hesitation. Then there are those
who long to say yes and just need to be shown how.
Faith is taking the step when we can’t see the road and don’t know the destination.
It’s forgetting what lies behind and straining toward what is ahead. We may lose our
respectability, in fact it’s pretty much guaranteed. But what is respectable about ignoring
the call of Christ?
Our adventures look different than Bilbo’s. Maybe it is going to far away places where
the threat of death is very real. Or maybe it’s raising our children under grace rather
than by crushing them with rules. We all want to experience glory amidst the mundane.
Whatever our life in this world contains, when it is lived in Christ, it is lived in glory
because Christ is the glory of God. And it is always meant to be different than how we
are naturally inclined to live.
I believe it is someone else who chooses to deviate from the world’s status quo for us.
How could we make the decision ourselves? On our own we are enslaved to the world’s
expectations. We need someone more powerful than the world and its authorities to
radically change us – to enable us to live apart from the world. We need the scales to
be removed in order to see the truth. How else will we come to understand that being
comfortable does not necessarily equate to living.
Bilbo’s adventure is a journey of discovering his own potential. Ours is similar. The
apostle Paul described the life of the Christian as a race that we are running for the
purpose of winning. Our potential is based upon the work of the Holy Spirit in us. And
when we reach the end, we will find we are not who we once were the day we were