This is the blog post in which at least half of my friends will consider disowning me when I make my confession. The one involving Tolkein. And Lord of the Rings. Okay, here it is:
I have never read Lord of the Rings.
Depending on who you are, this may not be a terribly shocking revelation, but let me assure you that among my circles, this is rather akin to heresy.
In my defense, it is not that I don’t like Tolkein–I do. It’s not that I have completely failed to read any of his works–I read the Hobbit! And it is certainly not that I don’t enjoy reading–my friends know that I will read just about anything I can get my hands on. It is simply that every time I start to read Lord of the Rings, I get stuck.
Nevertheless, these same friends do a marvelous job of keeping me well-supplied with incredible Tolkein quotes and one of these days, their persistence shall pay off and I shall actually read his entire work.
All of this is really just a very long introduction to share with you a quote I stumbled across while reading another book not long ago. This quote by Tolkein nearly makes me want to pick up the Lord of the Rings and give it one more try. But more than that, it makes me think of special needs families. So I thought I would share with you.
We shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs… I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull… But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually — their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on… I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?
Perhaps many of us can relate. Had we known more about this journey… had we been given any chance to decide our future… I think it likely that we shouldn’t be here at all. Because really, while some may look and say “how brave!” or “you must be a special person for God to give you all that” the truth is that we didn’t choose this. We didn’t ask for this life. We didn’t opt for medications and tantrums and long-term care and all the rest.
These special needs adventures… we “seem to have been just landed in them.”
Yet now that we have landed here, we do have many chances. Maybe we can’t turn back completely. But there are chances all the same. Daily opportunities where we can choose how to live this adventure that has been handed to us. Momentary decisions that will impact the bigger story.
It isn’t always easy. In fact, it is almost never easy. Yet the world will only hear about those who press on. Those who choose to look to God when you can’t go one more step. Those who create atmospheres of grace in the midst of tantrums. Those who choose a word of kindness rather than one of frustration or anger–however merited it may seem.
Yes, “we shouldn’t be here at all… if we’d known more about it before we started.” But now that we’re here–I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into? Let’s make it a good one.
Image credit: LissaLaine, CC
What are small, daily things you do to make your story of adventure a good one?