Leaving the safe for the unknown

“I will take the Ring,” he said, “though I do not know the way.”

This may be the most pivotal line in The Lord of the Rings, uttered by Frodo. Here he makes a decision that will forever change his life and many others. It is the hinge on which the plot unfolds in the rest of this epic tale.

It is also one of my favorite moments in the story. Here a small and insignificant hobbit finds himself landed in an adventure way beyond the ordinary, scripted life for a hobbit. He is free to reject the idea of bearing the ring and longs to stay with his uncle Bilbo. But something inside tells him that this is his destiny, this is his adventure. And no one else can do it except him.

I think there are moments in everyone’s life when we sense that something is offered to us, something we need to take on, something we need to give ourselves to. And yet it comes without a sense of obligation or pressure. It is an unknown path filled with potential danger and risk, and yet we know that if we reject it, something inside of us will die. Conversely, if we take it, something inside will come alive. But we often do not understand how much hangs in the balance on these decisions, how many lives are at stake.

I know that a moment came like that to me several years ago, an offer from God to leave the safe and take up the unknown.  The insistent nature of the offer stayed with me for awhile before I decided to go, leaving a job and starting a non-profit ministry. Lives are now at stake, first Heidi and my two daughters, then the board of this ministry, and finally those that are and will be a part of the ministry.

Last week, I had the sense that it was time to get up on this horse and ride it. I had made the decision to start, but now it was time to embrace the work ahead, to own it, to charge out. Just like Frodo, I need to go even though I don’t know the way.

And then it hits me as I write. This is living faith, this is walking with God, this is where we all need to go.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6).


About Coach D

I have been a teacher and a coach for many years. My real name is Bill Delvaux, but my students call me Coach D, hence the user name. This blog is about the journey into the unknown I am walking and the landmarks I am navigating along the way. The destination: becoming who I really am as a man. I invite you to join me by reading along every Monday and Thursday.
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