Monday, January 5, 2015

It's Kinda Like the Hobbit

     This post may not make much sense if you are not familiar with the books the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings (by J.R.R. Tolkien) and/or the movies based on them.  However, I just had to share my thoughts for those of you who are familiar.
     Both the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are stories about long journeys, full of adventures and acts of bravery.  When I think of adventures, I think of fun, and I think that sometimes its easy to gloss over how hard adventures can be.  I picture an adventure being someone running over a grassy field with a backpack on and a clear destination in mind.  That is often how adventures start, after all.  And the next thing I picture is the end of the story where the adventurer is standing victorious over the body of the slain dragon, and all is right with the world again.
     It's easy to forget all that happens in between.  How about the trolls who almost ate Bilbo?  Or the giant spiders?  Or having to escape from Thranduil in barrels floating in the river?  Ok...maybe the barrel thing sounds fun, but it would still be scary to actually do!  As amazing as the adventures sounds, it's easy to gloss over all it takes to get to the destination.  To forget that it's not easy, and sometimes the hero must feel kind of lost.

Thankfully my journey to Honduras is completely devoid of trolls, goblins, and narrow escapes in barrels.  But when I first started out I don't think I realized just how hard this adventure would be.  I didn't necessarily think it would be easy, but I didn't fully realize what I was taking on.  But like Bilbo (and Frodo), the journey is teaching me some amazing things.

1) I'm not alone.  Neither Bilbo nor Frodo traveled alone.  Bilbo went with Gandalf and the Dwarves.  Frodo had the Fellowship.  I am blessed to have partners who pray for me, connect me to others interested in missions, and contribute financially.  I have a great group of people in Honduras, both missionaries and Hondurans who I will be working with.  I'm definitely not alone.

2) I'm really NOT ALONE.  Tolkien doesn't mention God in the Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings, but He is there, much the same way as He is with us.  He doesn't come down and kill Smaug in the Hobbit nor does he take the ring to Mount Doom Himself in LOTR.  But he's there, helping, guiding, encouraging. The best example I can think of is from the Return of the King, when darkness had been over the land for days.  Frodo and Sam saw an old, crumbling statue of a king.  The king's head had fallen to the ground, and the statue had orc graffiti on it. It was the last thing a despairing Frodo needed to see.  But then a ray of light broke the darkness and illuminated the head.  Flowers had grown up unto it and had re-crowned the king.  Those flowers and that light were a reminder.  May we always be reminded of God's presence when we are discouraged!

3) Yes, it's worth fighting for!  It's kind of a constant theme in the Lord of the Rings that even in difficult times we must remember why we fight! My recent visit to Honduras was a great reminder to me of that truth.  It refreshed me in the knowledge of God's call on my life.  And reminded me that it's so very worth it.

My adventure continues as I begin 2015. Thank you to all who are partner with me.  If you would like to find out more about how you can be a partner or how you can take your partnership a step farther, please contact me!  Write it in a comment or go to my facebook page and send me a message:

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