It started over 30 years ago when I first read ‘The Hobbit’ and it continued when I read ‘The Lord of the Rings’ to my wife during the first year we were married. I loved these books and I would find myself visiting them at least every couple of years. I had copies of the BBC radio adaptations and various versions of the audio books but when the movies finally came out I was overwhelmingly impressed with the world that Sir Peter Jackson had released from the printed page and brought forward into a visual reality.
This week we had the opportunity to visit the movie set of ‘Hobbiton’ which last year was the most visited tourist attraction in New Zealand (and is probably going to be so again this year). To say that it was ‘well done’ would be a massive understatement as I found that it lived up to and exceeded my expectations at every turn. I am not going to spoil it for anyone by giving away details because I hope (if you are interested) you will one day be able to find them out for yourself but I just want to say that I was not disappointed by what I experienced.
So many things seem to fail to live up to the hype they are surrounded in. We are bombarded by reality and lifestyle shows that promise dramatic and ‘shocking’ outcomes, only to find that someone merely made a mistake when cooking dinner – which happens in most houses from time to time. We have all made a purchase which has promised to change our life, but when we get home we soon find it is merely another item on a long lists of ‘almosts’. We have all looked forward to a special event and had it fail to impress or travelled to visit somewhere special only to find that it is actually not that special after all.
So when something lives up to its advertising we are surprised, refreshed and satisfied all at the same time. This is precisely how I felt after visiting Hobbiton and it was a welcomed rarity. When you come across something that lives up to its expectations you want to share it with others. That is why every week I share with you. Even more than the fantasy of Hobbiton I have found a reality that you can rely upon – the hope found in the person and promises of Jesus Christ.
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given.” Romans 5:5