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Before I die, I want to . . .

How would you fill in the blank? I know how I would—did—a few years ago (read on).

Uncle Leo

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.

Fast Forward

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?

2 comments on “Before I die, I want to . . .

  1. Amy Williams (ARTS) says:

    Loving this Pat! ~Amy

    “I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize that He is able to carry out His will for me. It does not matter where He places me, or how. That is for Him to consider, not me, for in the easiest positions He will give me grace, and in the most difficult ones His grace is sufficient.” ~James Hudson Taylor


    Liked by 1 person

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