Texting with a friend this morning led me to a realization: I'm a Hobbit and unfortunately, more in the Bilbo sense than in the Frodo. Gandalf approaches him with, "I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone." "I should think so — in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures," replies Bilbo. "Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!" An unnamed writer says this, "And I can't say I much disagree! You have to be a little bit cracked to want to go on an adventure. Think about it. If you had the choice between a comfortable life where you have all the jammy muffins and frosted scones you could wish for, a warm home filled with creature comforts, a strong community--and sleeping outside on the rocky ground in the cold rain eating what sour berries you come across (and perhaps a mangy squirrel if you're lucky), risking life, limb, and happiness to accomplish some goal you think is for the greater good, which would you choose?" So I agree with Bilbo, "Sorry! I don't want any adventures, thank you. Not today. Good morning!"
Experiencing this sudden change of life - the death of my companion of 34 years - is like being scooped up from a nice hobbit-life and dropped into the middle of an adventure in loneliness and survival that you did not sign up for. One minute, you're in the Shire with little Shire problems to overcome and the next, you're on your way to on some crazy adventure and you don't even know what its purpose is. Now Frodo, he had a purpose and he steeled himself to destroy that ring because the fate of the world depended upon it. So this definitely isn't a case of being Frodo - and Frodo also had Sam, Merry and Pippin risking life and limb with him for the cause. Conviction dragged them out of their warm hobbit holes and into the wild. It's very different for me - I feel I'm just a standard Hobbit and by some crazy mistake got sent down a road to fight dragons and encounter goblins without exactly understanding the purpose. And somehow, someway I'm supposed to be viewing it as an adventure and not a trial. I get occasional glimpses of something Tookish awakening inside me, wondering what is out in the Wild...but I'm still longing for the safety of my hobbit-hole and quiet hobbit life.
Gandalf makes this clear: “There are no safe paths in this part of the world. Remember you are over the Edge of the Wild now, and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go.” Fun? Really? Leaving the Shire to head to Lonely Mountain doesn't seem like such a joyous journey at the present though I suspect its going to be very character building.
Proverbs 20:24 "The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?"
Jeremiah 10:23 "I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course."