When you find yourself on a path you didn’t want

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Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, in which case you also were meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.

This is one of my favorite exchanges from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Frodo has been thrust into a quest he had not sought. He is a most unlikely character, a young Hobbit with a sweet disposition, to find himself as Middle-Earth’s best chance of saving itself from the evil Sauron.

He turns to his mentor and Super-Natural guide, Gandalf, in discouragement. Frodo is almost ready to surrender and go home to the peaceful Shire. And that is when Gandalf provides a new perspective on the journey at hand.

Sometimes we don’t get to pick the mission or the adventure that is laid out in front of us. Often the mission picks us. Some adventures start out of our own inspiration but some begin out of disappointment, loss or pure necessity.

And every Adventure worth pursuing will challenge us – leaving us with moments of doubt and even regret just as Frodo experienced throughout his journey to Mordor.

There are forces at work in each of our lives – forces we can’t fully comprehend. When we find ourself on a journey we hadn’t intended and we feel like it is unraveling us and we wonder what the point is anyways, it would be helpful to remember that his is what every great Hero faces. There is a point and if the mission has chosen you, then you do have the resources you need to make it through. You won’t be able to see it all clearly in the midst of those dark moments of doubt. You may cry out, “Why me Lord?” So until you can look backward on the journey with clarity from experience, take comfort that you aren’t alone. This is part of the process of every Hero’s Journey. It wouldn’t be a great Story without it.

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