As I often do, I got up this morning and checked to see what sort of celebration I could come up with for today—you know, National Toenail Day, International Bad Hair Day, etc. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that besides being Waffle Day and Maryland Day, it was Tolkien Reading Day. How cool is that?
Now, I suppose if you’re not a Tolkien fan you’d rather just eat waffles or move to Maryland. I personally love Tolkien, and that’s really saying something because I’m not a fan of fantasy or anything even remotely resembling it. But I have a real emotional attachment to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Way back in the Dark Ages (1974 to be exact) just months before becoming a born-again believer on July 5, I picked up a book called The Hobbit. I have no idea how I came across it or it happened to be in my home, but I was living in Colorado Springs at the time, and it had been a long, cold winter. I’m not a skier nor do I like cold weather, so the ongoing winter months had seemed especially tedious. In response, I spent many, many hours with my nose buried in books (something I do regardless of the weather). So even though The Hobbit wasn’t my usual reading fare, since I had no alternatives handy and didn’t want to drive on the ice to try to get something else (remember, this was long before Nooks and Kindles!), I settled down to read about Mr. Bilbo Baggins and company.
Guess what? By the time I was done I rushed right out into the middle of a snowstorm so I could pick up the trilogy and continue with Mr. Tolkien’s stories. And boy, was he a great storyteller! But it was more than that. As I said, I read these just months before becoming a true believer, but already I was searching. In retrospect, I don’t believe it was purely chance that I ended up with nothing to read but The Hobbit; I suspect God Himself was directing my steps, even then, to woo my heart and open my eyes. Though it was subtle (and I didn’t even realize it at the time), Tolkien’s books were part of that wooing process.
Anyone else have similar experiences, either with Tolkien or some other author/book? As a writer of Christian books, I’d like to think God uses my words to nudge others toward his heart, and I imagine all other Christian writers feel the same. I’d love to hear from you along these lines (in between your Tolkien reading and waffle eating, of course).