Lessons from Bilbo Baggins

Last Young Professional’s Night I preached on Bilbo Baggins. Odd? Sure. I just love the story of The Hobbit. The Dwarves of Erebor had lost their Kingdom to an evil dragon. They were living in exile and they embarked on this quest to reclaim their homeland. Bilbo was recruited by a wizard named, Gandalf to go with the company. In the beginning of the story Bilbo is overwhelmed with fear and indecision. He almost didn’t go on the quest with the Dwarves. I think you can draw a lot of parallels between Bilbo in the beginning of the story and how a lot of Christians live their lives. Here are a couple of points from my sermon.

It’s Always More Comfortable in Bag-End

Bag-end was the home of Bilbo Baggins. It was a hobbits hole and that means good food, comfy furniture, and cozy living. Bilbo Baggins was one of the most comfort loving hobbits of all. Bilbo didn’t want to go on the quest at first because things are always easier in our comfort zone. Hobbits worked hard to get what they had. Their homes were filled all types of comforts and conveniences. They were accustomed to plenty in their land.

Like the hobbits, we in America are quite prosperous compared with most others in the world. We have to work hard for our good things, but our work is generally rewarded. Our homes are comfortable and modern, and we eat good food, wear fashionable clothes, and enjoy quite a few luxuries beyond our actually needs. We work hard, stay late, come early in the morning to get the promotion and frankly make more money. There is nothing wrong with enjoying our comforts and conveniences like big-screen TVs, but being surrounded by material things can create a problem for us. It did for the hobbits. As Tolkien tell us, the hobbits became so comfortable and self-absorbed that they paid less and less attention to what was happening in the lands around them “until they came to think that peace and plenty were the rule in Middle-earth.

That can totally happen to us! We can become so self-absorbed in our own life that we forget about the outside world. We see a common theme in the books and movies. When good men stand by and do nothing. Edmund Burke Irish Political Philosopher once said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” We must be concerned with the outside world and stand up for what is right. We cannot be so consumed with our lives that we forget that there is a hurting an dying world out there.

Are you a Baggins or a Took?

Bilbo’s Father, Bungo Baggins married Beldonna Took. The Tooks were hobbits that were far more adventurous then Bagginses. The Bagginses  had a reputation for being practical and predictable. It says in the book that Tooks were somewhat bolder and more adventurous. They were known for their daring deeds and produced great heroes. In the beginning of the story , the Baggins side of Bilbo’s nature dominated his Tookish side.

What’s the lesson here? Many of us are Baggins-minded as well. We’re down to earth and rational. We’ll have our own dreams and every once in awhile we stoke their glowing coals in our imagination. But we’re either too sensible to follow the dream, or hard experience has sent us back to the safe confines of a daily routine. We’ll fulfill our desire for adventure in smaller ways, but never true make the big ones come true. And so our larger dreams go unfulfilled. That’s what happened to Bilbo. His idealism over the years had been displaced by a more practical lifestyle. Don’t be a Baggins. Be a Took. Be bold. Be daring. Turn your daily routine into an adventure.

These are a couple of points from the message. I hope it challenges you to jump into to the adventure God has for you. I am excited to face 2014 head on and full of faith.

I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.

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