“The Road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow, if I can, pursuing it with eager feet, until it joins some larger way where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien
Earlier this week I found the trailer was released for “The Hobbit” the prequel to “The Lord of the Rings” series of books and more recently, blockbuster films. Like many, uh, slightly nerdy kids of my generation, I read the J.R.R. Tolkien books as a child and was thrilled to see them come to life so vividly in the films of the last decade. It is not often that films in the fantasy genre can live up to the original manuscripts, but I felt Peter Jackson did an outstanding job working with some very complex stories.
Tolkien was a devout Catholic, and had a strong influence on his friend C.S. Lewis’s conversion from Atheism to Christianity. Though it is difficult to know how much of his work should be taken as allegory to the Christian faith or life of Christ, there are some strong themes of Christianity in his work which add a depth to the stories that make them all the more meaningful to Christians. Love, sacrifice, honor, and the constant battle against the powerful evil in our world are all themes of his stories.
But I found another quote from Tolkien, and I do not know its origin, which spoke to me about my spiritual journey. It reminded me that though I started my journey on my own, seeking God and hoping to find answers to the problems in my own life, eventually my life intersects with the lives of other Christians and there is some greater accomplishment that we must all participate in. We don’t always know what that accomplishment is, but what comes to my mind is The Great Commission, bringing the gospel to every nation, tribe and tongue. If this were one person’s goal, it would take thousands of lifetimes to accomplish, but Jesus gave this “quest” to all who would call him Lord.
World Christian Fellowship is a place where many individual paths meet to form a larger road, a highway, for the fulfillment of The Great Commission. We don’t have to travel it alone; there are many who will travel it with us. And as we travel this road together, many more will join our fellowship.
And whither then? I cannot say.