How would you fill in the blank? I know how I would—did—a few years ago (read on).
One of my early mentors was Uncle Leo, a kind, twinkly-eyed old soul, who died when I was 10—not before changing my life. Uncle Leo was a Jesuit priest, who taught school in a Chinese colony in Jamaica. He may have been the first to tell me of heaven and hell. I don’t know how we got on the subject—I was probably only 4 or 5 at the time—but he answered me in a way I understood. I sure didn’t want to go to Hell. But Heaven . . . how do I get there, I asked. I forget his answer, but the conversation set me on a search for heaven and how to get there. I wanted to know truth.
About 15 years later, as a college graduate, I’d been exposed to lots of truths. Then I read a stunning statement in John’s Gospel: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6). Not another truth from the soup out there in the chaotic times we lived in, but Truth embodied in a person. With that inner revelation came an inner invitation to follow this Jesus as the Truth and the Way to heaven. I answered the call.
The Hero’s Journey
About 40 years later, through a book on the writer’s craft, I discovered mythic structure, or the Hero’s Journey, as a framework to craft a good story. I recognized it as a framework for faith, which galvanized me in what was already a pretty incredible journey, if supremely mystifying at times. If the mystery had structure, I wanted to know it. My life changed again.
Sixteen years after experimenting with that structure, I stumbled upon this oversized chalkboard wall in the middle of a wood, with this heading, “Before I die, I want to—.” I took a chunk of chalk chained to its side and scratched out, “Complete my Hero’s Journey.”
Back to Your Story
Where are you in your story? Or would you call it a journey? A pilgrimage? A quest? A Call to Adventure? Do you have a framework for your story? Is it incredible, mystifying, or both?
This blog is mainly for the mystified, but I don’t know anyone who frames their faith in the pattern of the Hero’s Journey. I see the pattern everywhere in Life, Story, and Scripture. It demystifies faith for me, as it may for you.
As I warm up this blog for a serious launch in January 2020, I invite you to join us for a Hero’s Journey of faith. And I’d be interested to hear your story. What calls to adventure have you experienced? Where have they led you?
How would you fill in the blank?