I love adventure and quest type stories and movies. As a matter of fact, in preparation for the upcoming movie ‘The Hobbit’ (a movie based on JRR Tolkien’s fantasy novel and a prequel to the novel and movie ‘Lord of the Rings’) I have reread Tolkien’s novels and reviewed the Lord of the Rings movies. The Hobbit is a great adventure featuring Bilbo Baggins and a band of dwarves seeking to retrieve some lost treasure. The book is fantastic and the movie looks promising.
Being Tolkien was a Christian and wrote great theological themes in these novels, I have been intrigued at his handling of both adventure and quest, for ‘The Hobbit’ is an adventure and ‘Lord of the Rings’ is a quest. We will discuss the difference in a minute, but one interesting truth about adventure and quests is both Bilbo and Frodo (Frodo is the one in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ that is on a quest) are reluctant to do so. For Hobbits are simple creatures and disinclined to do anything out of their normal little safe Hobbit life, yet at least these two (and more in ‘The Lord of the Rings’) get thrust into both quests and adventures. They speak a lot to us in that we tend to go about seeking to make life safe and simple, yet God’s great call is usually far beyond the Shire (the place where Hobbit’s live) and to the quests and adventures of living life for Him.
Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…
Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Now we talked about adventures a few weeks ago and those times where we take some risks to gain some new experiences or treasures. You see, adventure tends to be a search for some kind of treasure; the treasure of an enjoyable experience, the treasure of new or hidden knowledge, the treasure of thrill, the treasure of relationships. It is most always something to gain and the gain is usually worth the risk or expense. In 2 Peter 1:5 it speaks of this risk…
2 Peter 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith…
This can be translated to staying ‘at your own risk’ add to your faith.
2 Peter 1:5-7 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
And the treasure is found in 2 Peter 1:8-11 (yep you have to pull out your Bible and read it for yourself…your own little adventure with a great treasure in these verses). Life needs adventure, it stretches us, causes a little adrenalin to pump through our veins, it allows us to face some battles, and it yields great treasures.
However, a quest is different, though it is filled with adventuresome elements; thrill, risk, intrigue, excitement, some gain, a quest is where a treasure is given away, like in Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ where the very precious ring of power needed to be given back to where it came from and destroyed. A quest’s focus is not what we gain, but the greater good, a reason beyond and bigger than ourselves, where a larger purpose is accomplish. We then gain our purpose from this quest, this calling.
As I have been rereading these great works (The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings) I am reminded of our Biblical call to only the adventures God takes us on, but the quest He has called us to…like the quest to love
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
It is a quest to give away the love we have been given. Then there is quest to give away our God given gifts, talents, and abilities.
1 Corinthians 12:7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
The words ‘common good’ refer to the benefit for all much like a musical instrument gives its skilled sound to the symphony. We are to use (give away) our talents, abilities and gifts to each other as we band together to help others. As well, we are to take on the quest of the treasure of salvation and living life Jesus’ way.
Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
So are you living both quests and adventure, or are you just being a safe Hobbit? What is your quest? Seek God and His Word (the Bible) and you will find it. For you see as we live out our quest and experience those adventure we will live life to its fullest. That’s my prayer for you and me.
Seeking both Adventure and Quests with you,