Walking with Bilbo

Walking with Bilbo

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by Sarah Arthur
     
 

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2005 Logos Bookstores Award winner for Best Youth Book

The author of Walking with Frodo takes readers on an adventure of faith with this devotional that relates themes from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit to living the Christian life. Unlike the fateful quest Frodo was asked to carry out, Bilbo's journey came as an unexpected adventure.See more details below

Overview

2005 Logos Bookstores Award winner for Best Youth Book

The author of Walking with Frodo takes readers on an adventure of faith with this devotional that relates themes from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit to living the Christian life. Unlike the fateful quest Frodo was asked to carry out, Bilbo's journey came as an unexpected adventure. Readers will be reminded that God chooses us to be unlikely heroes in the adventure of life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781414332727
Publisher:
Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date:
01/19/2005
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
605,166
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
15 Years

Read an Excerpt

Walking With Bilbo

A Devotional Adventure Through J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit
By Sarah Arthur

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Sarah Arthur
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-0131-0

Contents

A Note from the Author.........................................vii Read This First................................................xiii How to Use This Book...........................................xix 1 Looking for a Few Good Men (or Hobbits)......................1 2 Job Description, Please......................................9 3 Sheer Madness................................................19 4 Traveling Light..............................................27 5 Now You See Him, Now You Don't...............................35 6 Plans Go Astray..............................................43 7 Going On.....................................................51 8 Seeking and Finding..........................................59 9 For Pity's Sake..............................................67 10 Portents of Great Significance..............................75 11 Between a Rock and a Hard Place.............................83 12 Help Un-looked For..........................................91 13 Choose Your Own Adventure...................................99 14 Stick to the Path!..........................................107 15 The Unlikely Hero...........................................117 16 GoodLuck?..................................................125 17 Decent Companions...........................................133 18 Living Legends..............................................143 19 True Identity...............................................151 20 Where Your Treasure Is......................................161 21 Adventure's End.............................................171 22 Home at Last................................................179 Quick Reference Guide: A Glossary of Terms.....................186 Notes..........................................................192

Chapter One

Looking for a Few Good Men (or Hobbits)

"I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone." Gandalf, Chapter One of The Hobbit

Remember those awful middle school gym classes when the teacher selected two captains and told them to take turns picking their teammates, one at a time? Either the captains' voices were drowned by the clamoring throng ("Pick me! Pick me!"), or their words echoed in an uncomfortable silence ("I want her but not him; and you, over there-No, not you."). Any twinge of sympathy for those left standing till the end was quickly overpowered by the extreme relief at not being one of them. How unfair it seems that certain people should be chosen (for some of the silliest reasons, too) while others aren't!

Then of course, there's the wretched classroom lecture scenario, usually involving a subject in which you feel hopelessly stupid. While the instructor paces around the podium, you sit quietly in your seat, trying not to move or sneeze or in any way draw attention to yourself. Because you know the firing squad of questions is coming. The instructor will wheel around suddenly and aim a zinger at some poor, unsuspecting student who may or may not have the fortitude to answer. And you hope it won't be you. (Please don't pick me. PLEASE.) How unfair it seems that every student will be chosen at some point, including you!

Hmm. Interesting to compare the two scenarios, isn't it? In the first, you're desperate to get the attention of the person in charge rather than suffer the embarrassment of not being selected. In the second, you're desperate to stay under the radar altogether. But in both situations, you'll end up getting chosen eventually. The issue isn't whether or not you'll be chosen; the issue is when.

For Mr. Bilbo Baggins-who is about to be selected by one of the most famous captains in all literature-the time is now. Gandalf is in something of a hurry, and the little hobbit doesn't appear to be doing anything important at the moment. If he'd had his wits about him, Bilbo would've disappeared inside his hobbit-hole the minute he saw Gandalf coming. (Please don't pick me. PLEASE.) But besides being completely unaware of Gandalf 's intentions, Bilbo is also-deep down-an adventurous fellow, though he doesn't realize it yet.

In fact, there are a great many things he doesn't realize, as Gandalf well knows. The wizard tells the dwarves, "There is a lot more in him than you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself." Bilbo is being chosen precisely because Gandalf sees something in him that needs only the "chance to come out," and an adventure will do the job nicely. Despite Bilbo's protests-as well as those of the dwarves-he becomes the "chosen and selected burglar" for the expedition to the Lonely Mountain.

Chosen and selected. The words have a nice ring, don't they? They make us sit up a bit taller, lift our chins a little. Even if, like Bilbo, we're not sure what the words mean exactly, we rather like the idea of being handpicked for a purpose. It's not simply because we're susceptible to flattery, like the dragon, Smaug. Deep down we long to know that we have value and worth in someone's eyes, that someone thinks we have a role to play in the stories of our time.

And Someone does. The Creator of the universe is also the Creator of every human life, including yours, and all that he does has a purpose. God made you for a reason and has a plan for your life. He's calling you to fulfill a purpose within a story that is larger than you could ever dream or imagine: an adventure beyond all adventures!

God had been in the business of hand-selecting people for specific jobs since the beginning of time. He cranked the recruitment process into high gear when Jesus came on the scene. Picture Peter with his brother Andrew, mending fishing nets on the shores of an inland sea. Peter doesn't have much in the way of education, nor is he what you might consider ... um, shall we say, prudent. But Jesus says, "Come, be my disciples" (Matthew 4:19), and off he goes, Andrew at his side. Drop everything? Now? Okay. The rest of the twelve disciples have similar responses, and before long, voilà: you have an organized expedition.

Frankly, if you're really not interested in adventures, it's wise to hide when you see Jesus coming. He has Gandalf-like tendencies that are really quite alarming. "Follow me," he says. "Take nothing for your journey. Go the extra mile. Why do you worry about what you will eat or what you will wear? Seek first God's kingdom." These are not safe words. At the very least, they could "make you late for dinner." In fact, they might mean you don't get any dinner at all.

But Jesus also says to his disciples, "You didn't choose me. I chose you" (John 15:16). This adventure of faith may appear to have a rather dubious origin and an even more dubious outcome, but that doesn't trump the fact that in this moment, in this hour, you are being called to walk with Jesus.

The question is, will you go?

Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ. Ephesians 1:4

GOING FURTHER

* What tasks have you been "chosen and selected" for? Why were you chosen?

* How does it feel to be asked?

* How does God view you? How easy or difficult is it to see yourself the way God sees you?

* Why has God chosen and selected you for the adventure of faith?

* What are you going to do about it?

THE WORD ON BEING CHOSEN

Take some time to read one or more of the following Bible passages:

Deuteronomy 7:6-8; Isaiah 6:8 and 41:9-10; Mark 2:13-17; Luke 6:12-16; James 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Walking With Bilbo by Sarah Arthur Copyright © 2005 by Sarah Arthur. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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