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Before the great journey began, before the stories that would be regaled around campfires and dinners and celebrations could be told, before the younger generations would listen in awe; one humble, unassuming home is invaded by unwelcome guests.  One life is turned upside down.  And one invitation is offered.

Uninvited, unexpected and unquestionably dangerous, an invitation is made.  And in that moment, the seed is planted.  A calling is given.  A destiny once veiled, slowly comes into focus.

And inside the heart of the called, something reverberates.  Something deeper than he’s known before and more real than his fear awakens inside him.

As they sang, the hobbit felt the love of beautiful things made by hands and cunning and by magic moving through him, a fierce and jealous love, the desire of the hearts of dwarves.  Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.map_of_bilbos_journey_1

And the journey begins.  Our fearful little hero obeys the calling, leaves the paths of safety he’s always trod and steps quietly into the unknown.  Trusting his future to his fellowship, and to the one who called him.

On this journey he would face the unimaginable, be captured, lost in endless, dark tunnels and face death on more occasions that he would have ever wanted to.

On this journey he would also find his calling affirmed and himself equipped to be just what he was called to be.

“That’s right,” said Gandalf.  “Let’s have no more argument.  I have chosen Mr. Baggins and that ought to be enough for all of you.  If I say he is a Burglar, a Burglar he is, or will be when the time comes.  There is a lot more in him than you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself.”

So Bilbo leaves all he’s ever known and begins an adventure that changes his life and the world, forever.

Maybe I don’t want to carry a sword (although that would be cool) and maybe my calling isn’t to be a burglar.  Maybe I won’t be accused of being a thief and find that accusation oddly fulfilling.  But there are things I haven’t done yet, places I’ve not seen, mountaintops not yet scaled, and waterfalls not yet swam in.  And there are things I want to be called.  Other words that don’t yet describe who I am.

Words like Daddy, Father, or Pappa.

Words that will undoubtedly force me into the unknown.

Yes, I may face the unimaginable.  And I know I’ll need to trust the future to my fellowship and the One who has called me.  But I step out knowing this;  I’m not alone, my calling will be affirmed, and I will be equipped to be just what I am called to be.

And even if this means leaving my quiet little life behind, I will see mountaintops.

Here’s my Heart – David Crowder 

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as much as i’m beginning to understand that living life means fighting for what is worth living for, i’m also beginning to understand that my fight, my battle wont always be an epic.  it wont always remind you of the Lord of the Rings, Gladiator or 300.  sometimes the battle will take place in the quiet.

in the determination to simply not quit.

sometimes the battle isnt something we’re actually doing.  sometimes it’s just the quiet determination to not give up.  to not give in.  and sometimes, our battle is simply realizing we cant.  that whatever change needs to happen, whatever miracle is needed in ones life, that we are incapable.

there is beauty in that.  in realizing that whatever it is we’re facing is beyond our ability to defeat.  to know and understand, and accept, that we’ve done all we can.  that all we can do is wait.  wait on the Great Warrior to meet us where we are, to give us direction, strength, hope.

there is beauty when you realize you’re at the end of you, that you cannot do more.

there is beauty in finding the end of yourself.

Delirious – Find Me In The River

we didnt count on suffering
we didnt count on pain
but if the blessing’s in the valley
then in the river i will wait

find me in the river
find me there
find me on my knees with my soul laid bare
even though you’re gone and i’m cracked and dry
find me in the river
i’m waiting here

is not all there is.

i am not destined to live the life my father did.

i wont.

i will be different.

watch.  just watch.

I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are.

so much changes, and sometimes it still seems like so much stays the same. the only way i can describe it, is that im realizing that ive been living in a black and white world. and only now are my eyes opening. and im finally seeing this amazing, beautiful thing called ‘color’.

im stuck between two extremes. on the one hand, what i know. home. safety. and on the other? life. abundant, beautiful, breathtaking life, love and color.

It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?

i think im finally coming to some idea of what the future may hold. of where im going to be. of what the next part of my life will look like. for so long i’ve put everything on hold. part of it was for good reasons, others was simply out of my own fears.

But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.

so much changes, and yet so much stays the same. im not the same person i was just a few weeks ago. i know im not. things have changed. I have changed. and im not happy here anymore. i want room. space. a place to breath. this part of my story is starting to draw to a close. the next page is turning.

so often, we run from the things that we dont like. we strain and strive for the things that make us comfortable. and when were not comfortable, everyone knows. we fight for our rights, for whats ours. and somehow, in the cacophony of voices screaming for what they want, we lose sight of what is most important.

we lose sight of our reason for being here. of hope. of love. we lose sight of the things that are truly worth fighting for. we lose sight of those we love, of the injustices in the world, and the path we were given to tread.

life was never meant to be easy. because anything easily gotten has no value. life was meant to have battles. it was meant to have risk. we are supposed to know how valuable life is. and we’re supposed to live accordingly.

i’m not promising that i’ll never feel lost. because i will.

i just know this

i hear it. its in the pre-dawn song of the birds, in the roar of the wind and the flash of the lightning. its there. you hear it to.

life is calling.

and i’m answering the call.

Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.
Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why.
But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo
: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam
: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.

No one answered. The noon-bell rang. Still no one spoke. Frodo glanced at all the faces, but they were not turned to him. All the Council sat with downcast eyes, as if in deep thought. A great dread fell on him as if he was awaiting the pronouncement of some great doom that he had long foreseen and vainly hoped might after all never be spoken. An overwhelming longing to rest and remain at peace by Bilbo’s side in Rivendell filled all his heart. At last with an effort he spoke, and wondered to hear his own words, as if some other will was using his small voice.

‘I will take the ring.’ he said, ‘though I do not know the way.’

so maybe i don’t have a “ring” so to speak – to carry. i do, just like frodo, have a calling. a road i must walk.

and again, just like frodo, i do not know the way.

Father, i am sorry. i’ve wandered from my path. ive compromised.

forgive me?

i remembered again today… why it is that i dislike watching people leave my apartment. its not the actual leaving… as much as it reminds of of airport terminals.standing at the door to my apartment, watching a loved one walk down the hallway… they make a turn for the stairs and in a moment… they’re gone. and in all honesty, you never truly know when you will see that person again.

tomorrow – ill have to do that. only this time – it will be the airport. and not just my apartment door. this time, it wont be 10 minutes that seperate us. this time, it will be 1700 miles.

this time… all over again.

my wisdom teeth came out friday afternoon. and im doin ok. its now been 4 and a half days. im not bleeding anymore. i had my first actual (be it all soft foods) meal this evening. see, my dad flew in. major surprise. was not expecting it.

shocked would have been how i felt on friday nite when i got the message he was due in less than 24 hours. not only had the novacaine worn off, but my dad – whom i had not seen in nearly a year – was coming to town.

and now, only 3 days later. he is leaving.

again.

“Have you often been to Rivendell?” said Frodo.
“I have” said strider, “I dwelt there once, and I still return when I may. There my heart is, but it is not my fate to sit in peace.

so much changes. in such a little time.

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