The Heart of a Hobbit in a World of Smaugs


Summit Semester Laura Winters 2016“You don’t really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!” (Tolkien, The Hobbit, 303)

I love this quote. Yes, it was said from one fictional character to another, in a land that can never be reached by foot or sea, but over these past 6 weeks it has resonated quite strongly with me. Mr. Baggins is a “little fellow,” as Tolkien put it, in a “wide world” and if one where to be looking at him from the out side with merely a passing glance, the Hobbit probably would not have looked like much or at all important. Certainly not one who would go off on adventures and have had a hand in the Battle of the Five Armies or the defeat of Smaug, and that passing glance would be in all respects correct. Our fine little fellow wasn’t all that great or of any real important in his own right. He wasn’t overly brave and he didn’t have the exact training and experience needed to go head first into the adventures that he did. The only success that can truly be attributed to him would be the decision to follow Gandalf after being called, everything after that could not have happened without intervention and guidance from much greater powers for much greater purposes.

At the end of the day, or book I really should say, our fine little fellow was still only a very fine little Hobbit; no more special then any of the other Hobbits that Gandalf could have found to accompany his quest. Bilbo wasn’t chosen because he was the best at anything or of any real importance but solely because Gandalf chose him. I think as a group we are starting to acknowledge and accept our positions, as Baggins did, in the world, or at least I am. We, as children of God and children of the parents who are undoubtedly reading this, are not chosen or called to go on the adventures we are on because we are overly brave or of any more importance than the fine little fellows we are but instead because we chose to follow God out of our burrows in Hobbiton and towards the world of Smaugs that undoubtedly awaits us after leaving Snow Wolf Lodge. Just like with our fine little Hobbit, the only success that can truly be attributed to us is the decision to follow God after being called, everything after that cannot happen without intervention and guidance from a much greater power for much greater purposes.

If you could only hear some of the stories of how the majority of us got here, these are not experiences or events that would have been possible without divine intervention and control. After hearing them from 29 others there is no chance of believing that we are here by mere luck. This, accompanied with just living and seeing the extra little details of life, is when I hear Gandalf’s voice the strongest; “‘You don’t really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes where managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit?'” Attributing any one of us to being here simply by luck is a true impossibly. It is unbelievably flooring to see, on an almost daily basis, how specific each of our journeys here has been. Granted, each of us is here for personal growth and learning, I absolutely love seeing the leaps and bounds in growth every person has made since arriving, but at the same time that is not the only reason we have been placed here. We were not sent here merely for our own improvement, but for the opportunity to grow and one day be better equipped to serve in whatever capacity to which we will one day be called. We are on the voyage towards the world of Smaugs, which we will soon re-enter. Towards battles of more than merely five armies that many undoubtedly can’t even imagine, but that we are now in the training for. We each have Hobbitons to fight for and protect, but just as luck was not the one to place us here, it won’t be the reason that the ‘”adventures and escapes”‘ we will face through life will either turn out good or bad. Luck comes into the equation of our lives about as much as our ability to control the future or the waves of the sea. As humans the only success that can truly be attributed to us is the decision to follow God after being called, everything after that cannot happen without intervention and guidance from a much greater power for much greater purposes.

“[We] can’t really suppose, [can we], that all [our] adventures and escapes [will be] managed by mere luck, just for [our] sole benefit? [We may be] very fine persons, and [there are some who are very fond of us]; but [we] are only quite little fellow[s] in a wide world after all!”

P.S. It is one of our student’s little sister’s birthday tomorrow, so: Happy Birthday Zoe! <3 Max

Laura Winters traveled all the way from Ontario, Canada to join the Summit Semester class. From a young age, Laura has enjoyed horseback riding and hiking. She loves helping people learn, and hopes to combine that with her interest in child psychology. She intends to pursue a career in which she can research and evaluate teaching methods in order to find ways to better educate children according to their learning style and in cooperation with any learning disabilities. After Summit Semester, she plans to double major in Psychology and Sociology and minor in Art.