As a devout Tolkien fan, the Hobbit movies are a touchy subject with me. I’m tempted to defend them, but I have to admit they could have been much better. Still, if you can get past Tauriel and the Pale Orc, the basic story is still there, buried underneath all the CGI. Lets tease it out a little bit.
When you cut out all the unnecessary, The Hobbit is a story about an underdog. It’s a story about someone who likes their comfortable life and never dreams of leaving home, but one day destiny comes knocking. Bilbo Baggins gets swept off on an adventure he never planned for, or wanted, and it changes his life. He may have started out as the weak link of the group, but by the end of his journey Bilbo is the one who faces the dragon Smaug, and Bilbo is the one who keeps his head when the treasure drives his friends mad with greed.
Bilbo’s story is one of adventure, danger, and personal growth, expertly woven together by one of England’s greatest writers. Yet stories of this type aren’t confined to fiction. They date back as far as Bible times.
Bilbo’s reluctance to leave his home reminds me of Gideon in the Bible, who is so opposed to the “adventure” God is calling him to that he asks God for a sign to prove this is really God’s will – and after he receives the sign, he asks for another, just to be sure.
Too often this is us. God is calling us to something, but we’d rather ignore Him and stay in our comfort zone. It isn’t always something as big as fighting a dragon or leading an army, sometimes it can be as simple as saying a few encouraging words to a stranger, but we tend to be too busy to bother. Yet when we ignore God’s prompting, we miss an opportunity to grow. It’s time for us to start stepping out of our comfort zones. Go where God is calling you, even if it’s an unexpected journey. You never know, it might turn out to be the greatest adventure of your life.