Once upon a time, a well-to-do Hobbit was asked to go on an Adventure.
His name was Bilbo Baggins, and the idea of Adventure was alarming. He was very comfortable in his cozy house, he had good friends, a lovely corner of the world to dwell in, and a beautiful place to call home. He believed, and he was right in thinking so, that Adventures were nasty, uncomfortable affairs that made one late for dinner.
But as time went on, his curiosity and excitement proved stronger than his determination to stay put. Bilbo realized that he needed to go on the Adventure, not only for his sake, but for the sake of others. He decided he was willing to face his fear, challenge the danger, and run pel-mel into the midst of the unknown, even if he would miss some supper or have to sleep on the ground instead of his nice little feather bed. He was a courageous Hobbit, whose small strength and bravery seemed hardly capable of penetrating the looming darkness, but he was willing, after a lot of fretting and worrying, to do his very best!
Bilbo answered the calling Adventure, and when he returned, he found that he was forever changed. He saw through eyes of experience and trial the hidden paths and unknown places that had always been beyond his reach, and his hands were rough from fighting and hard work. He no longer fit in among his peers because he had so drastically gone out, but Bilbo never lacked friends, they were only different to the sort of company he used to have.
Bilbo Baggins became known as one of the most famous Hobbits in all the history of Hobbits, and the world would have been a very different place had he declined his Adventure, because of course, all of us are called for some kind of Adventure. Some are great and some are small, but none, not even the smallest, is less important than the most epic of Adventures. The quiet ones are most comfortable, but Bilbo's Adventure molded him into better shape, as we all must try to do.
Once upon a time, in another world and time, a young teenager was asked to go on an Adventure, and, well, you get the picture...
This summer I took the Adventure of my lifetime and moved from my home in Colorado across the country to a new home in Tennessee. There have been mountains to move, rivers to cross, and valleys to climb, with some blood, sweat, and a lot of tears throughout. Like Bilbo Baggins, I'm learning to face the challenges and meet it with trembling courage. He made it seem so much easier.
I've learned a lot through these past months, and I'm only at the beginning of the Adventure. There's so much more to come and I'm ready to face it, come what may. I hope that someday, I shall return, go 'there and back again', as Bilbo did, but for now, I'm taking one step forward toward the right direction. It's the least I can do. I'm on an Adventure, after all.
P.S. Bilbo was right, Adventures make you late for dinner...