Remember in the most recent movie "The Hobbit" (if you happened to have seen it) how Gandalf admonished and even teased Bilbo about his inordinate concern for the use and condition of his grandmother's doilies and elegant china? Bilbo had an unexpected flood of visitors whom he was trying as graciously as he could to accommodate, but in the process it became evident to Gandalf how Bilbo's priorities had shifted. Since he had refrained for a long time from venturing forth into the challenges he had been created to meet, he had begun to settle for a preoccupation with lesser things typified by Grannie's doilies. Not that we shouldn't treasure family heirlooms, but absent those aforementioned challenges in our lives the vacuum will soon subtly be filled one by one and piece by piece with relative trivialities. Gandalf functioned like the prophet in Bilbo's life reminding him whence he, ever so imperceptibly to himself, had slipped degree by degree over the months and years. Bilbo was blessed to have a prophetic presence in his life however intermittent that presence proved to be, something or someone King Solomon of ancient Isreal, for example, lacked especially in his later years when his heart strayed so from the things of God. May God bring those into our lives who help to expose and keep in check those straying impulses of our hearts!
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