Remember what Bilbo used to say:
It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.
You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet,
there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.
From “The Fellowship of the Ring”, by J.R.R. Tolkienxi
Today is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins of the Shire
I love that about Life … “You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to!”. That’s just what I want Life to be! My Life has been like this … and along with the to-be-expected surprises, it’s been a great 66 years! Tolkien was a wise man.
Dangerous? I don’t know as I would call it that. It’s human beings that make it dangerous. Life itself is “neutral” …. It just offers possibilities. We must learn to accept the invitations.
I find the phrase “if you don’t keep your feet” to be especially helpful. Personally, I find that we are a society that has given up educating our people on how to “keep our feet”. Oh, I think we think we’re doing that … teaching the young how to succeed financially. But what is the point of learning that if we haven’t learned the deep mystery of Life and how to live it?? What a chagrin to learn, by experience, that being financially successful and being successful at Life aren’t synonymous!
KEEP YOUR FEET. That’s the whole point of faith and religion and “the inner life” … and it doesn’t have to be theistic. I think if I were elected Pope tomorrow, that is the phrase I would choose as my motto.
I would say, however, that perhaps “being swept off to” unexpected places may just be part of the humour of “God”! I’ve tried to follow the Gospel path for decades ... and I’ve found that being swept off is part of the Journey. What a Path is most useful for is recovering from the inevitable surprises.