“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”The Fellowship of the RingJ.R.R. Tolkien –

God has a plan. He mapped out His will for your life before you were born. He knew who you were destined to be… the choices you would make… what your receptivity to Him would be. God understood your heart… and whether or not you would ultimately choose Him.

Why is it we often go through life without seeking His will? The One who gives us life and breath… who loves us beyond measure… who has a plan for us beyond what we could hope for or imagine, longs for us to align our wills with His. He has the answers we are seeking. He has the perfect plan. Why then do we look to the world for answers and direction for our lives?

J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, was a Christian… and fellow Oxford professor and friend of C.S. Lewis. Throughout Tolkien’s books, the character of Gandalf is seen as a Christ figure. The wisdom, guidance, help and protection Gandalf brings to the characters in these stories is reminiscent of that of Jesus in our lives.

Gandalf often offers the young hobbit Frodo sage advice in the trilogy. In the quote above, he is giving Frodo wisdom to guide him in perhaps the most important decision of the hobbit’s life. The fate of the ring that could bring evil to all Middle Earth is in Frodo’s hands.

“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.”  Esther 4:14

Frodo is bemoaning the fact that he has been born in such a time. He wrestles with the choices before him… to stay in his beloved Shire where he could live a quiet and comfortable life… or risk his life journeying to Mordor, the evil realm. There he would seek to destroy the ring in the fire where it was forged long ago.

Gandalf explains to Frodo that it is not our choice as to when we are born. We must do with our time on earth the best we possibly can. To choose the path we know is right… not necessarily the one that is safe and comfortable. Frodo is the only one who just might succeed in destroying the ring. To not do so could bring about the doom of Middle Earth.

We may not be faced with choices of such magnitude as Frodo. Yet in God’s eyes they are great. He has high hopes and expectations for us. He wants us to challenge ourselves… to step out in faith in His will… trusting that He will provide us with all we need.

We could take the safe path… although that may not be God’s will for us. What if He has an amazing journey planned for us? What if He were planning to work mightily through us in some big way? Will we risk our “safe” life and set out on this new adventure… where He promises to be with us every step of the way?

“For the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” Isaiah 52:12

Frodo’s journey is not an easy one. It is one wrought with perils and trials. Yet he trusts that he has made the right choice. And he knows that Gandalf will be going ahead of him, making his path free of obstacles… and rescuing him in his times of need.

We too can set out on our journey of faith, knowing that our God will be with us wherever we go. He will go before us and pave the way for us as we follow His plan for our lives. He will give us strength and courage for the adventure. And He will be the One who protects us from behind.

With God on our side, whom shall we fear? No one. When we journey with Him along His path, we are under His blessing. It is there where we are truly safe.