Our Hero’s Journey

party of heros from lord of the ring

Our life is a hero’s journey of unexpected events, surprising challenges, tests of courage and tenacity ~ and immeasurable possibility.

The following poem by J.R.R. Tolkien speaks of the journey of life. I wondered at the beauty and depth of its words. I first saw it several years ago and it remains for me a message of holding hope and faith for a life unfolding in its own precious time. That we each are a hero on our own journey.

All that is gold does not glitter,

          Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

          Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

          A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken:

          The crownless again shall be king.

~ J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings


The poem sums up the quest of Tolkien’s magnificent story. Tolkien’s story is about all of us, our quest, our lostness, our brokenness, our questions and our ultimate victory.

All the beautiful stories of hero’s adventures to solve, restore, vindicate and succeed in their quest for truth and goodness are parallels to our own. Those stories may be more exciting. After all we don’t float by Sirens, fight off a Cyclopes or fight the evils of Sauron. Not exactly.

Yet in our own journey we face distractions, doubts, despair and suffering. In the process of experience we discover what is worthwhile and true for us. Life circumstances test our faith and resolve. If we can see ourselves as a hero on a quest we can understand that no great journey is going to be without great challenges. A hero is a hero simply because he or she is willing to pay the price of greatness. That price will be different for all of us and it will be the same in the demand for us to continue in the direction of that which we seek.

A hero becomes the hero of his own journey when he recognizes that he is the hero who has a destiny to fulfill and accepts the challenge.


May We All Walk in Beauty

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