I enjoyed reading "THE HOBBIT" again recently. One of my favorite lines appears about 2/3 of the way through. After an arduous, adventure-fraught enterprise for Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves:
"They were at the end of their journey, but as far as ever, it seemed, from the end of their quest. None of them had much spirit left."
They had already been through so much, but the thing that they had set out to do was just now barely upon them... and it looked to be the most daunting task of any that they had faced.
I'm not overly concerned about the outcome of a fantasy, albeit superbly written. I am concerned that I might be closer to the end of my journey than I am to the end of my quest. And, honestly, sometimes I don't feel like I have much spirit left, either.
Getting to the end my journey is nothing more than a simple waiting game. My clock will wind down and stop. Or, something catastrophic could just as easily snuff out my life before then.
Fulfilling my quest, however, is a different matter.
I always wanted to live for something. The idea of just marking time and occupying the hours with "whatever" always seemed a troublesome modus operandi. There had to be a larger significance for my earthly sojourn.
One of the first things that dawned on me after coming to Christ was that I had now discovered that "larger significance.” I now had a reason to live… a quest. Well, I did not discover it so much as God in his mercy let me see it (as He will do for all who would open their hearts to him).
How did Moses, after the burden of leading a nation through an incomparable transition from slaves to conquerors in spite of frequent and fierce opposition, end up?
"Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated." (Deuteronomy 34:7)
How did the Apostle Paul remain so clear-headed, focused and passionate right to the end?
"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead," (Philippians 3:13)
I want to be like that.
While not wishing to compare anyone to hobbits and dwarves, I do wish that our churches had a greater sense of being a band of brothers and sisters on a quest... that we would keep our eye on the prize… stay willing to live and die for the Captain of our salvation (and for one another) in the pursuit of our quest.
Countless unredeemed souls deserve no less than our best and our most.
As time marches mercilessly on and drags me closer to my own demise, I cling to promises like this one about our Redeemer:
"He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age,…" (Ruth 4:15)
(first posted 12.02.2011)
Greg grew up in Menomonee Falls, WI. His ministry began in 1976: 5 years in Central America, 36 in Mexico. Church planting and discipleship have been his passion.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." -Matthew 13:44
Concise devotions in Spanish and English, along with some lengthier essays… Designed for personal spiritual growth and to help anyone studying English or Spanish as a second language to improve their skills… Rev 14:6
To highlight one essential facet of the eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ... Rev 14:6; 2 Cor. 5:18