Every story has its dragons, and probably every year of life. Dragons should be faced with courage not whimpering, because dragons eat “milquetoast types” for breakfast. However, even a brave hobbit has a fighting chance. – The Hobbit
I have to admit I am not a huge fan of The Hobbit, but I have seen the movie and I own the book. I will also admit I slept through half of the movie, but I happen to be one of those people who goes to movies and tries to find the hidden and deep meaningful lessons within them. It is a nerdy quirk of mine. The Hobbit holds many valuable lessons for us.
Milquetoast is such a fanciful, whimsical word. Don’t you think? To be milquetoast means to be a very timid, unassertive, spineless person, especially one who is easily dominated or intimidated. None of us want to be the milquetoast type. We want to be brave hobbits ready to face our dragons!
It was rather splendid to be wearing a blade made in Gondolin for the goblin-wars of which so many songs had sung; and also he had noticed that such weapons made a great impression on goblins that came upon them suddenly. “Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter. – J.R.R. Tolkien.
What dragons are you facing today that make it hard for you to face the New Year? Almost five years ago I wrote a blog post very similar to this one. In fact, I took the post and I am rewriting it here. In that post I was very honest when I shared that I had found myself in a rut. I vowed to shake off the dust, to be hopeful, and to not fear. I shared a quote from author Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years) about fear and how it is not just an emotion that keeps us safe, but it is also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.
My goal for 2011 was to try new things, step out of my comfort zone and to face my fears. That was the last time I wrote for almost four years. Little did I know what I was about to face, both good and bad. Looking back on it all now I can see a long journey of many hills and valleys, which included incredible heartache as well as incredible joy. There was pain in the process of growing and facing my fears. And I still have a ways to go. There was also a lot of adventure and wonderfulness. On the journey of life we can’t go back, we can’t avoid painful and scary things and go sideways, we must continue to move forward -even if our heart is all of a patter and a pitter. Stepping off the path is not an option. If we do, we lose so much of the good things in life in the process.
Each year as we face New Years we begin to think about what we can do differently in the coming year. It is a time when we try and forget about the past, while reaching for those things still ahead, moving forward and pressing on toward our goals. It is the only thing to do! We can hold onto hope to find courage to face the dragons in our life that lie on the path ahead of us.
I am a firm believer in having a vision and writing it down each year. Without a vision, dreams perish. Today make it a point to write down your vision for the New Year. It can include relational, financial, educational, and professional goals. It can include any personal dream or goal. So write the vision. Write what you see. Write it out in BIG BLOCK LETTERS so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming – it can hardly wait. It‘s on its way! It will come right on time (The Message Bible).
Donald Miller believes our life seems muddled because we keep walking into scenes in the story of our life in which we, along with people around us, have no clear idea of what we want. People want to live a great story but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. And they have little courage to face their dragons. This year, do not become milquetoast! Face your dragons head on! Write down your vision. Take up your weapons! It’s the only thing to do! On we go!