wavy pattern

facts, truth and middle-earth

“He’s got a great deal more to offer than any of you realise, including himself”

- Posted byHannah Miller

Have you ever watched The Hobbit trilogy of films (or even better read the book?)

This weekend I promised my family that after several long weeks with long hours and weekend working, that I would be fully present, no work, and they could choose what we did.


You may recall my word for the year is present and so it is about time I starting being it.


They chose a Hobbit marathon. Actually, Sam (husband) chose a Hobbit movie marathon. My boys love a bit of Middle Earth, a rite of passage in the Miller family (long pre-dating me) is to read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy with each child. It is some of my husband’s favourite childhood memories.


I, however, come from a heathen family line that didn’t understand the importance of the work of J. R. R. Tolkien and so I am a late adopter.


Now this wasn’t my first viewing but I must say I feel like I enjoyed it more this time. I felt more invested in the characters and so much of the depth and meaning stood out to me.


There was a beautiful moment when Bilbo (the Hobbit for the sake of non-believers) is being recruited to the company of dwarves (a people who have lost their homeland and are about to head out on an adventure to get it back) by recommendation of Gandalf (a wizard and key figure throughout all the books).


Bilbo is not keen on the adventure and does not feel up to it. He quite likes the way that he knows, the safety of his life, knowing what to expect, and having confidence that he is up to the job in hand. He does not, by any means, think that he is the best option for the above task. This is a fact.


The dwarves are also not convinced that Bilbo is up to the job. He’s small in stature and outlook, he has zero experience, struggles with confidence and doesn’t look like the natural fit. These are also facts.


This is when Gandalf (who has enough presence and wisdom to go round) and speaks truth into the situation.

“He’s got a great deal more to offer than any of you realise, including himself”

Gandalf cuts through the facts and speaks truth to Bilbo. Gandalf could see beyond what was in front of him and looked at his potential, his character, his capacity to grow. Bilbo chooses to take the risk, and live a life of adventure over safety.


OK, this is a fictional scenario (sorry superfans) but it spoke to me of my own experiences, and of so many people that I coach.


There are so many times that we look at the facts and decide to count ourselves out. Not experienced enough. Not old enough. Not young enough. Too qualified. Not qualified enough. Not brave enough. Too outspoken. Not clever enough. Too clever. And so on (pick your own adjective).


These may be facts (they may not all be facts, even).


But are they the truth?


The facts can help and hinder, but the truth sets us free.


The truth is this, you are more than the sum of your experiences, you have more courage than you realise and your capacity to do difficult things is always far larger than you are predicting. Don’t let the facts and circumstances around you hold you back from hearing the truth.


Now sometimes we need some help in hearing the truth. Who can act like Gandalf for you? Who will help you see your strengths, your potential, who will speak truth to you and enable you to grow and illuminate your future?


Now, truth does NOT mean telling you that you can do all things. This is actually dangerous and can lead us down some disappointing paths. But we can do hard things, and we have so much more to offer than we realise.


Look back at your track record at handling difficult things.


You have done it every single time.


So, the main messages here today, friend, are:

  1. Don’t let the facts get in the way of the truth
  2. Find some Gandalfs to illuminate the way
  3. Who needs you to speak truth to them?
  4. Say yes to the adventurous route (whatever that means for you)
  5. There’s a lot to learn from Middle Earth


If there is anything the last year has taught it is that we don’t know what the future holds. We can make plans, but what comes our way is not totally in our control. What is in our control is what we listen to, what we say yes to, what we choose to do and the intentions that we set.


Let’s say yes like Bilbo and speak life like Gandalf.


Not a bad summary for a heathen, don’t you think?




Hannah x




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