Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Short Rest (The Hobbit Chapter 3)

Chapter 3 is entitled "A Short Rest." I'd like to name it a "A Short Chapter" as there wasn't much in this chapter. It felt like one of those chapters that was there to progress the plot and nothing more. The chapter begins with our adventurers in a bit of somber spirits. Even though the weather had improved (which can definitely change your attitude when traveling), "they did not sing or tell stories that day...nor the next day, nor the day after that." Reality has set in for them, and they now realize this adventure will not be as easy as they once thought. This happens in our Christian life as well. We start off on fire and full of zeal, but eventually Satan comes along, and we get scared. The road starts to look dark, and longer than we thought it would be. We must remember though that we have the True Light as our guide!

"O!" said Bilbo, and just at that moment he felt more fared than he ever remembered feeling before. He was thinking once again of his comfortable chair before the fire in his favourite sitting-room in his hobbit-hole, and of the kettle singing. Not for the last time!" I'm not sure how y'all are but every now and then I think about my old life before my conversion. I think about how much "simpler" things were and about how it was so much "easier" to live in sin than follow God. This is a lie from the father of lies, Satan! You might think your life is "simpler" or "easier," but you will always be empty and hollow until you find rest in the One your heart was made for, God!

I particularly liked the path imagery. The description of how small it is, makes me think of Jesus speaking in Matthew 7:13. Enter through the narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction. Gandalf appears almost saintly here as their guide. If not a saint, he could certainly be likened to an elder, who guides Christians on their way to Heaven. It makes me think of the saying, "No one gets to Heaven on their own." We all need some guidance and a helping hand. If we could get to Heaven on our own, we wouldn't need the Church. We could just all be spiritual but not religious and worship God in our backyard.

I must admit the silliness of the elves just aggravated me. Did anyone else feel this way or did I miss something? Maybe it's supposed to symbolize their innocence, but it just annoyed me. The last part that was interesting to me was Elrond's viewing of the map. He knew that this would not turn out well when gold, dwarves, and dragons were involved. This, not surprisingly, reminds me of 1 Timothy 6:10 where St. Paul talks about the love of money being the root of all evil. If your eyes are strictly on gold and nothing else, then your mind and heart become poisoned. Unfortunately, the poison is not contained only to you but can destroy others around you as well.

So what did you think of Chapter Three in The Hobbit? Read along with me, and comment at the bottom. Also, tune in two weeks for my reflections on Chapter Four!

A special thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt who was generous enough to provide me with the 75th Anniversary Pocket Edition of The Hobbit.