There Is No Going Back

How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep.. that have taken hold. ― J.R.R. TolkienThe Return of the King.



The above is one of my favorite quotes coming out of Tolkien’s ring trilogy. The word’s are Frodo’s as he writes his last words in his journal. Frodo is talking about a physical wound suffered during his journey to return the ring, but there is no doubt Tolkien is talking about something else.

The difficulties of returning home are a consistent theme in literature. Thomas Wolfe’s, You Can’t Go Home Again, being one of many.

On this Monday morning I find myself asking myself, “How do you pick up the threads of an old life, are there some things that time cannot mend, and are their some hurts that go too deep?”.

As to the later two, we need look no further that the relationship between Peter and Jesus. In the end, Peter has denied Jesus, and must feel like Frodo — that with Jesus gone, time will not heal the wound he inflicted and the hurt inflicted is too deep, but he is wrong. Jesus sends word to Peter he will meet him at the Sea of Galilee and there tells Peter the “feed his sheep.” Peter’s life is not over, it’s just beginning as it is for each of us this very day.

The threads of an old life are just that — threads, much like an old suit that no longer fits. Time may not mend all hurts or reduce their pain, but they prepare us for the journey ahead.  We are all to continue on our journey even if it doesn’t lead us to home or to an old life. Over the next hill is a life much more exciting and rewarding as long as we remember to “feed his sheep.”


About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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