During my divorce my attention was mostly focused on how badly I felt. How I had been wronged. How unfair my life was. What a disaster my life was. What a disappointment my ex-husband turned out to be. How it seemed God had forgotten me. At the time, my divorce was all about me and how it affected me (and those I loved.)
If you’ve read this blog very long you know one of my favorite books is The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I love the story of the very normal Bilbo Baggins, living his very happy, quiet life in his very comfy ‘hobbit hole’ being called to “Go adventuring.”
I believe God calls each of us to a great adventure. And on our way, we are joined by other ‘adventurers’ (Radical sisters?) experiencing the bigger calling of life. I kept the vision of Bilbo Baggins in my head while I was going through my divorce. But the truth is, most of the time (like Bilbo), we want to stay in our safe, familiar, comfortable little Hobbit hole.
The world is often terrifying and full of real, dangerous dragons to face. Just look at the condition of the world right now. Chaos and devastation everywhere. Riots in middle America. Beheadings in Iraq. Raping and kidnapping and killing in a world full of real, ugly, undeniable evil. And then there’s the quiet evil of lying, stealing, adultery, selfishness in our own families and sometimes in our own hearts.
But you know what? I firmly believe we are in this great battle for goodness … for God’s purposes. We are in the middle of a great cosmic story, and we are called to do our small, but vital , part. When I was married I knew what my part was, and I did that part reasonably well most of the time. I am still mothering and grandmothering and working .,… but now, I am being called to a different role, too. Not because I didn’t do my last job well, but because God used all that, and now he is using me for something else. He brought me through that for his bigger story.
God doesn’t cause the catastrophes of life, but he uses them and helps us through them and fulfills his eternal purposes through us. Every single day, I am part of the bigger picture of God’s plan. How am I going to answer that call, like the call to Bilbo Baggins (and his friends) to “Go adventuring” with God? The answer for each of us has eternal, cosmic significance. And if we answer his call to use our gifts and blessings for good, that will bring the greatest fulfillment and the deepest joys of all. What is he calling me to do now? What is he calling you to do?
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11