The Time Given to Us


“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on this day in 1892 (died 1973).

You can’t be a long-time reader here and not know that I’m a huge Tolkien fan. And I don’t mean that as a comment on my much-needed, and not yet talked about diet plans for 2017.

Over the holidays I binged watched The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. No, I did not watch The Hobbit movies. 2016 already had enough trouble.

I digress.

Over the next year, I have also pledged to re-read the books, and perhaps some other works of Tolkien. I’ll also be talking about my reading goals in the next few days.

That is, in the next few days I’ll be talking about my reading goals for the year.

Frodo went on a journey he did not ask for. He accomplished a task for which he was woefully unqualified. In the end, it was his friend Sam who actually saved the day.

You should read the books. Really.

But Gandalf’s words to Frodo were wise.

We can’t control our circumstances. We can’t control the events that happen to us.

But, we can decide what we’re going to go about them.

We can determine our reactions, and our next course(s) of action(s).

2017 may be the best of times, it may be the worst of times.

Please don’t make me explain that was a Dickens, and not Tolkien reference.

Whatever lies ahead for the year, it’s up to us to determine how we’re going to deal with it.

We all have hopes and dreams. Sometimes we attain them. Sometimes they’re shattered.

And that’s the point of deciding what we’re going to do about it.

There’s always a choice.


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