In the final instalment of our Values Series, we wrapped it all together with a story. Not just any story, but one where you’re the main protagonist.
Of all the stories in the world you can fit them into 7 different plots: rags to riches, the quest, overcoming the monster, comedy, tragedy, voyage and return, and the rebirth.
The way to tell these stories can vary, but one of the most popular methods is the format called ‘the Hero’s Journey’. Most of your favorite movies follow this pattern.
Think of LOTR. The Hobbits of the Shire are content living in their agrarian lifestyle in their ordinary world complete with six meals a day.
Heroes don’t become heroes overnight. Prospective heroes are just ordinary people living in an ordinary world. In fact, most people stay ordinary. The allure of the safety found in the average daily rhythm is bigger then the prospect of potential adventure. If you look around you’ll notice a lot of people simply living the same daily routine day day in and day out.
Something or someone needs to rouse the prospective hero out of the ordinary world. For the hobbits it came in the form of the gray wizard to Gandalf.
Here’s where the fictitious storylines change from real-life. You and I don’t enter into an unknown special world when we say “yes” to adventure. We certainly answer a call, but when that call comes from God, we merely participate in the places and spaces that God is already at work and present.
Here’s another place where fiction doesn’t meet reality. We love the heroes from the movies because they do extraordinary things that are beyond our capacity–that’s why it’s fiction. Batman fighting the crime of Gotham in the darkness of night. He goes alone and eventually triumphs.
You and I shouldn’t travel alone.
The Christian faith is one that’s critically bound to the notion of community. There’re no Lone Ranger Christians. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t heroes.
Heroes are people who say yes to the story that’s unfolding in their lives, the calling that God has placed before them. Heroes are merely the people who are faithful to the call to show up. It takes a lot to push against the ordinary, and that’s why heroes shouldn’t try to embark on adventures by themselves.
Gathering is a critical piece to our church. We gather broadly for worship services, and we also aim to live our lives and do the things we love with people we love to in smaller groups. Our value to gather is connected to our values of living life on life with people we love to transform the places we live, glimpse love, justice, beauty, and hope in our wake.
Scriptures: Hebrews 10:19-26; Acts 2:45; 1 Cor 3:13; Heb. 3:13