In the book I reviewed recently, The Realms Thereunder, there is a part with gnomes.
Four travellers, two from our usual world and two ancient knights, are on a mission. They need to find the entrance to the Slaepismere, a place where the life of their enemy is hidden. Travelling through the dark caves and tunnels, they meet three different groups of gnomes.
As I was reading about the gnomes, I could not help but think of real life application.
The first group were called Negan. Their idea of life was to stay in one place. Who knows what goes on in other parts? Why should we know and even more importantly, why should we care what happens elsewhere. We’re good where we are. We know our way around, there are no surprises, everything is familiar…
“I am okay,” is the standard reply of Negan type of people. Maybe there is a god or God… but He doesn’t really bother me or get involved in my life. Why do I have to choose to change something? I’m doing great where I am.
Gegan was the name of the second group of gnomes. They did explore the shafts, many of them. However, they did not know where the Slaepismere was (supposedly). They got bored every time they got into a tunnel, so they went back and chose another one to investigate, just so they won’t sit like Negan gnomes and do nothing.
Smarter than those who simply don’t care about anything, this type of people explores everything and everyone. Jumping from religion to religion, from a philosophy to another way of thinking, from Church to Church… they travel, yet they never arrive. “This way is probably too tough for me to go, let’s go back and find something more interesting.”
And finally, third group: Ergan. The sophisticated. They had maps, countless maps of numerous tunnels. “You need to find a way? Well, here’s a map for you. Oh, I don’t know in which direction your destination lies, I just have a map that might help.”
These are the people of rules and regulations. The ones who have religion but lack faith. The ones who could tell you how to “properly” read the Bible, yet who would not be able to help with the question of “How do I get saved?” What use is a map when you don’t know what it is a map of?
As it turns out later in the book, the gnomes’ task was to confuse the travelers and not let them reach the Slaepismere which they initially passed by. Their task was to send them somewhere far, where they would simply get lost.
How often do we meet such “gnomes” in our lives? How often are we such “gnomes” for others?
I hope and pray that besides not going into a deep and dark forest myself, I would not lead anyone there… and help whoever will be heading that way to see the real path to “Slaepismere.”