The Hobbits named it the Shire, and there in that pleasant corner of the world they plied their well-ordered business of living, and they heeded less and less the world outside where dark things moved, until they came to think that peace and plenty were the rule…
I can relate to Tolkien’s hobbits. I enjoy getting my hands dirty in my garden and watching plants grow, I love to eat and drink, I have big feet (but I keep my toe hairs shaven), and I miss the scent of my grandfather’s pipe. I keep close to home. I relish a classic tale. My idea of adventure is trying a new recipe or taking the whole family to…well, anywhere!
I love hobbits, and it’s fun to talk about myself in hobbit terms (or to speak as though they are real creatures), but I don’t really want to be a hobbit. The majority of them lived their lives in ignorance of what lurked on the outskirts of their borders; only a handful of hobbits ever walked beyond the boundaries of The Shire.
I know that for a majority of the world “peace and plenty” are not the rule; rather, the norm includes war, hunger, hopelessness, fear, and desperation. Looking a little nearer, just a few miles from my own little piece of earth, a community of people are living in filth and squalor. How hateful of me to turn a blind eye when I know a way to make a difference in just one of those lives.
I am so thankful for my church; my brothers and sisters in Christ stir me up to more love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). I’d like to step out my front door of my own accord, but, like Bilbo, sometimes I need a little push.