Our eighth grade students recently read the Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkein and are currently working through some final assignments about the novel. This novel fits well with our ‘heroes’ theme at WCS and follows a classic pattern - it is an archetype. Here is the pattern: A messenger comes, a problem is presented, someone is chosen or needs to decide whether to take up the quest, the journey begins and the familiar world is left behind, challenges and setbacks are encountered and overcome, helper characters enter the story, evil is defeated or the quest is accomplished, and finally the character returns to the familiar but is not quite the same as they were when they set out on the journey. I was inspired to read the Hobbit again as there are some wonderfully worded bits of wisdom about life and character and the journey. For example, Tolkein writes:
“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
“It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterward were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait.”
“Go back? No good at all. Go sideways? Impossible. Go forward? Only thing to do. On we go.”
Gotta love those quotes! Seeing a story character living out love for a neighbour, living in hope and humility, rising to the challenges and difficulties before them, and providing a model of what it means to be a hero - this too is inspiring. Keep reading and keep seeking to be an everyday hero, wherever God has placed you!