Today I was watching the first Hobbit movie and it hit me: I am a Bilbo Baggins of sorts. Not always in the courageous selfless sort of way, but in the reluctant to accept change sort of way. For those of you who haven't seen the movie, please allow me to explain.
Bilbo is a humble hobbit who lives in a lovely home that has been in his family for generations. He has worked tirelessly to gain respect in his town and revels in the comforts of his simple life. One day, Gandalf, a wise wizard, comes to see Bilbo and invites him to participate in a grand adventure that will save an entire kingdom-- the chance of a life time. But what does Bilbo do? He turns it down. Why? Because he loves his china plates, doily table coverings, puffy recliner, and stocked pantry too dearly to give up, even if his participation in the mission is crucial to the success of a desperate, homeless people.
So there you have it folks. Call me Sarah Baggins, because there are a whole lot of times when I'd rather sit happily on my comfy couch and eat ice cream from the carton while hiding from the world rather than face my fears and serve God as He would have me do.
I've come to realize that at the root of this
hobbit habit [haha see what I did there?] lives an intense dislike for change. Not all change-- sometimes change is good. For example, I highly recommend changing fire alarm batteries, baby diapers, and band-aids. I'll admit, change is central to progression and growth. Without it, we'd still be stuck in the dark ages. Even with it's perks, sometimes change just stinks, and let's face it: this world is full of it.
There are not many things we can count on in this life. Ice cream melts [*gasp* the horror!], lockers jam [wait, what was my combo again?], Internet Explorer freezes [wait, this if frequent enough it might not count as change...more like consistency...], and sometimes spaghetti drops on your favorite shirt [why did I have to outgrow my baby bib?]. In all seriousness, there are big changes in our lives, too. Job changes, family changes, emotional trials, natural disasters, fear, anxiety, health problems, and the list could go on and on.
But in the midst of all this chaos, there is one thing that never changes.
God is always there.
His love is unconditional.
No matter what, He will always be there for each and every one of us. All we have to do is come unto Him.
I love this quote from Sister Jean A. Stevens in the April 2014 General Conference:
How comforting it is to know that no matter how scary the future might seem, we are never truly alone. God is always there, and His love is always in reach.
A favorite song of mine is You're Not Alone" by Meredith Andrews. I especially like the chorus where God answers the plea of His distressed child.
You're not alone for I am here
Let me wipe away your every tear.
My love, I've never left your side
I have seen you through the darkest night
And I'm the One who's loved you all your life.
I've discovered that the stability of God's love is the key for getting through the trials of this trying world. Yes, all around each one of us lies a constant whirlwind of change and unknown resolutions, but God's love will give us strength to make it through.
In a place where everything changes, He doesn't.