Adventures In Our Path
" “I don’t like anything here at all.” said Frodo, “step or stone, breath or bone. Earth, air and water all seem accursed. But so our path is laid.”
“Yes, that’s so,” said Sam, “And we shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo, adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on, and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same; like old Mr Bilbo. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?”
“I wonder,” said Frodo, “But I don’t know. And that’s the way of a real tale. Take any one that you’re fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of a tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don’t know. And you don’t want them to.” "
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
I couldn't agree more with the two brave hobbits. They were in an adventure that none could have told them about before they started, and they hardly looked for it, either. Is it possible that adventure comes to you, and not you to it?
But Frodo's line at the end, caught my attention. I applied it to any tale that I am fond of, and found that it is true.
" 'And that’s the way of a real tale. Take any one that you’re fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of a tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don’t know. And you don’t want them to.” "
What's your favorite (you can have more than one favorite) story, that you saw the end coming, you knew what would happen, and all along, you wished and wished and wished for it to come true, but you never want the character to know what's coming? What would it change, if the heroin knew ahead of time she would marry the hero? What would change if the villain knew he would die after years and years of wasted toil? Would the characters have as much incentive to do good deeds, if they knew they wouldn't live to the end of the book?
Maybe that is what God does for us. He knows the end, He's already written the last word, but He doesn't want us to know. If we knew, why would we go on the adventures in our path? We would already know if they would fail or succeed.
I think that He doesn't tell us why something happens, or when something will happen for our own good. He plans to keep us on our toes, to keep us ready to see what's going to come on the next page. I think I like it better that way; it makes all of life seem like an adventure.