Exciting title, huh? 🙂 Things have been crazy around here with China coming up in two days! (I can’t believe it!) But there is still a serious lack of packing going on over here. We are last minute packers for sure! This post is an entry I made in my notebook this May. (By the way- all posts that start with “Blessings and Stories” are going to be from that notebook.)
Recently, in our series about the book “Live Ten” by Terry A. Smith, our pastor talked about adventure (I’m not sure if that was his name for it or not).
In “Live Ten”, Mr. Smith said he once knew a pastor who lad a very quiet life, and once actually told Mr. Smith that he had asked God for this peaceful lifestyle: simply saying he wanted to live a quiet life and not suffer too much–and God had given him just that. Think of what he could have missed!
Pastor Matthew (our pastor) used a story from “The Hobbit”: Bilbo Baggins is sitting outside. Earlier in the book, you get this description of Bilbo’s family:
“The Bagginses have lived in the neighborhood of the Hill for time out of mind, and people considered them very respectable, not only because most of them were rich, but also because they never had any adventures or did anything unexpected: you could tell what a Baggins would say on any question without the bother of asking him.” (11)
Bilbo was sitting outside, when Gandalf comes by and they strike up a conversation. Gandalf at last explains that he is looking for someone to take on an adventure and is having trouble finding anybody. Bilbo’s answer is simple:
“I should think so–in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no need for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in in them.” (14)
After some more conversing, Gandalf right out announces that he is bringing Bilbo. Bilbo makes it quite clear that he’s not interested and “scuttles” (15) inside.
“Gandalf in the meantime was standing outside the door, and laughing long but quietly. After a while he stepped up, and with the spike on his staff scratched a queer sign on [Bilbo’s]… beautiful green front-door. Then he strode away, just away, just about the time when Bilbo was… beginning to think he had escaped adventures very well.” (15)
But anyone who is familiar with the story will already know he had not at all. And, as Pastor Matthew put it, “We’re glad he went, because it makes a good story.” (Paraphrased) I mean, think about it: that would be a pretty boring story!
But it’s not easy! (Though adventures generally aren’t!) But not one place in the book did I ever find Bilbo say after he got home, “I wish I hadn’t gone.”
The Christian life is hard, but it’s worth it–SO worth it!
Katie Davis, a missionary to Uganda, said in her book “Kisses from Katie”: “I view nothing as a sacrifice in light of eternity with Christ.”
I too, find myself hoping that I can go on living peacefully in the suburbs of Nebraska, and have nothing horrific or tragic happen to me.
BUT–when I really think about it, I don’t want to be the one in heaven standing next to martyrs and saying:
“I lived a nice quiet life, in a nice quiet neighborhood, and sometimes told my neighbors ‘Jesus loves you’ and only left my country once for a vacation.”
Jesus, I want to give you my ALL! Take me on an ADVENTURE!!!
“But what was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” -Philippians 3:7,8