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A Sword, the Bible, and a Way Forward

All of us have had that experience of not knowing what to do next. Life may have thrown us a curveball or our life long dream could have just shattered, and now we are confused and a little afraid.

At those times in our lives the Bible can provide us with a sense of courage.

“But somehow he was comforted. It was rather splendid to be wearing a blade made in Gondolin for the goblin-wars of which so many songs had sung; and also he had noticed that such weapons made a great impression on goblins that came upon them suddenly.

“‘Go back?’ he thought. ‘No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do!’ So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.” ~ The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins found himself in a very difficult position. Miles away from his beloved Shire, in the caves of the Misty Mountains, the small hobbit (who has been separated from his companions) is alone in the dark. Bilbo is on an adventure he did not volunteer to go on and is being hunted by Goblins (Orcs).

Finding himself is this terrible situation Bilbo begins to think about his options. Only then does he remember the elvish blade hanging from his belt. The presence of the sword gives Bilbo the courage he needs to face the uncertainty of the dark. With his new found courage Bilbo is able to move forward.

On more days than we care to admit we wake up feeling the exact same way Bilbo felt during his adventure. It feels like we are alone in the dark, unsure of what will happen, and terrified to move. The questions: “What do I do?” “Where should I go?” and “Who can I count on?” are attempts to find a solution to the situation we find ourselves in. These are times when Bilbo becomes a good example to follow.

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