Recently, my wife and I watched again The Return of the King, the last film in Peter Jackson’s epic portrayal of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I was struck by a scene that occurs at the very end of the film. The hobbits have just finished a journey and a quest unlike any hobbits that have ever come before them. They have befriended elves, dwarves, and kings of men. They have fought and defeated the greatest evil, slain monstrous Orcs, and survived the hardships of Mount Doom. And finally, after heaving the Ring of Power into the fires of Mordor, forever destroying its power to corrupt, they have made their way back home to their beloved shire, a quaint community of peaceful little people who live quaint, peaceful little lives, completely unaware of the mysteries and adventures beyond the borders of their town. And yet, as these four hobbits sit in the pub that they have known so well their whole lives, in the company of townspeople whom they have known so well their whole lives, they look around, and you can see on their faces, that for them, things are not the same as they were before they left. Yes, the village is the same, the people are the same, but they, themselves, are different. They have been changed forever by their adventure, they have seen far more than what had satisfied them before, and they cannot un-see what they have seen. Their experience, their very worldview, has been forever altered because they have lived a bigger life than the shire could ever contain again.
And so it is with the Kingdom of God. When we leave our comfortable little theologies, our quaint and peaceful compartments of lower level living, we enter a quest that takes us to places in the Lord and in His rule and reign that we had never dreamed we would ever see. Parkinson’s disappears. Paralytics walk. Families are restored. Addictions are broken in an instant. We stand amazed, speechless, at the bigness of our God. And once we have seen, even for a moment, Heaven invade earth, we cannot go back to our quaint, figured-out, just-going-to-church-is-enough-for-me lives. We have been “eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)
(Excerpted from The New Normal: Experiencing the Unstoppable Move of God, by Dr. Mark Wyatt, from Destiny Image Publishers. Available now in bookstores everywhere, through online retailers, and at http://www.thenewnormalbook.info)