This picture of Smaug from The Hobbit is appropriate for a couple of reasons. One the dragon looks benign. He’s not! And he’s protecting his pile of money. Hmmmmm.
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit
I’ve told you before, I love the book by Tolkien, The Hobbit. It is the perfect story of good verses evil, of perseverance in the face of difficulty, of staying the course in spite of fear, hunger, adversity and gloom. It’s a story of bravery, courage, friendship and innocent goodness. I identify with Bilbo Baggins because he is an ordinary peaceful guy who is suddenly sent on a perilous journey to defeat evil. I think in reality that’s what we are all called to do in this life. And as Bilbo says in different words, “If there’s a dragon in your neighborhood, it’s best to be aware of that and take his presence into your calculations.” What is your dragon today? Who is your dragon? Are you facing something that threatens to destroy you or hurt you or someone who is constantly making things difficult for you or someone else? If you are, don’t be afraid of that person or thing. Simply stay on your path of goodness and justice, but be aware of the power of the dragon. Sometimes awareness is all it takes. I used to be surprised every single time my wasband did something thoughtless or cruel or selfish. I just couldn’t believe he would do something like that. But slowly, after useless trips down the road of rage and despair, I learned that I could still stay on the high road and do the right thing myself, and that was easier to do if I was prepared for the fire and fury of the dragon. You can be virtuous and trusting and at the same time be wary and prepared.
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
Matthew 10:16 (NIV)