Do you believe in dragons?

September 24, 2010

Every four or five years I pick up The Hobbit. This time through an interesting line caught my attention.  “It was easier to believe in dragons and less easy to believe in Thorin in these wild parts.” For those of you that might not know, Thorin Oakenshield is the fearless leader of a band of dwarfs, stout and strong, not afraid of a fight.  He, eleven of his friends, and a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins are on an adventure which includes killing a dragon and reclaiming their treasure.   They had gotten themselves in and out of several tight spots, and the real adventure was about to commence when this quote finds its way into the story.  Bilbo was willing to follow the lead of Thorin, but the idea of a real, live, dangerous dragon was looming large in his peripheral vision.

Maybe not with a real dragon, because they stay mostly to themselves these days, but most of us have faced dragons of our own or others making.  We have tilted at windmills and jousted with black knights on horseback.  If you are anything at all like me there have been times in your life when it was easy to see the hopeless, if non-existent dragon on the mountain top;  and hard to see the hope right in front of you.  There have been times when you longed for the days of, “When seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day.”

It is at times like these when we don’t want to hear, but really need to hear a verse like: “… we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”- Romans 5:3-4

I’ll have to admit that I have not rejoiced in my suffering so well.  Some days, but not all, certainly not most.  It is easier to believe in dragons.  I want character via the easy road.  But callouses are made are made by labor, and character by affliction.  But I want character, and what that brings, enough that I would rather be afflicted than comfortable.

So now that I believe in dragons, it must be reasonable to think that some of them, maybe one of them is a good dragon. I think his name is Bob, he lives in Michigan.  At least he did when I last spoke with him.

There still is a glimmer of hope.

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