This week, I will be doing something I rarely do. I'll be following the crowd. Into a theater filled with people, smelling like imitation popcorn butter and gross gumdrops (that is a redundant phrase). It will be very loud. If you cannot see many things wrong with that scenario, you are not a flaming introvert with sensory overload issues. But I will do it because . . . I love the magic combination of J.R.R.Tolkien and Peter Jackson. Love as in, I own Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit, and I will dominate you at it.
Why the big deal over The Hobbit? A fantasy creature barely three feet tall? Admittedly, it is not the epic its sequel is, literarily or theologically. It's just a good adventure story, written for children. But in its own different way, it is so much more.
Ten things we can learn from a Hobbit:
10—Every enemy has a weak spot. No matter how big and fierce our nightmares are, they are vulnerable somewhere. Find the spot, employ the right weapon, and watch them fall.
9—Don't leave the path. If you've been given a path to walk on, stay on it. No matter how tired you are or how endless it seems. Regardless of how good another path looks. Just keep going forward.
8—Something that appears insignificant to you may prove very important in the future to someone else. Pay attention to the insignificant things right under your feet.
7—Never laugh at a live dragon. It pay to remember that no matter how smart or fast you are, showing it off can give you a warm backside.
6—Never leave home without your pocket handkerchief. I don't know why, but Bilbo seemed to think it important.
5—No matter how small or worthless others may think you, take up your job and do it with courage. They may be surprised.
4—When you don't have an obvious or easy way to accomplish something, think creatively. Rafting in barrel may not be one's first choice of transportation, but it got the job done.
3—The word “mine” will always get you in trouble. A tunnel focus on “what I deserve” rather than “what I can offer” ends badly. Always.
2—Sometimes the biggest thing we fear is not the dragon but our own reaction to it.
1—Home never looks the same after a real adventure, but it always looks good.
Bonus lesson—Stay away from large spiders. Really, why should anyone have to tell you this? It should be obvious.
And . . . watch this space (and my website and facebook page) for the upcoming devotional/youth group study based on Tolkien characters written by--yes--me!