First Posted 08-Sep-2014
The archetypical hero’s tale described by Joseph Campbell in his, “Hero of a Thousand Faces” comes to this end: the hero, in seeming dire peril, wins the penultimate battle between good and evil. Then he journeys home victorious. The whole Star Wars franchise hinges on this story arc. Hollywood, since the ‘90’s, has become enamored with killing the hero only to find a way to have him live again and repeat the timeless tale once more.
Death and evil, if it were to win, to gain dominion over this world, can only do what its nature portends–more chaos, more death, and more evil. In Eastern mythologies, the endless wheel of life turns in a cycle of birth and death that has been repeated since the dawn of creation. Good and evil are locked in an endless dance, each fulfilling their purpose, each needing the other to remain. Death and evil, since day one, have only ever been able to fight love and good to a draw.
This must be so. Unchecked, the world would be a burning wasteland. Love and good win in the end, always. Death had Jesus, dead on the cross, martyred by the leadership of his church, another prophet claiming to be a messiah failing Israel again. Then he rose from the grave, alive, victorious. As said by C.S. Lewis and others, Jesus was either a spectacular fraud or his story is true. Love won.
In posts earlier on this blog I put out a bunch of stuff on why I am such a hot mess. If that were the end of the story I’d be one more who rattled through life, never amounting to much, eventually finding home in the county morgue, meat unclaimed, destined for anonymous cremation and burial in a public cemetery. It isn’t the end. This hero lives. My story does not have an end, yet.
I’m not young, but I am not so old or feeble that the clock has run out. There is still time. And, as I am fond of repeating, I too find myself in seeming dire peril and come out of it way better than I would have predicted. I live because of the love and grace of Christ. Hokey and terribly, so yesterday perhaps. But my life, save for Grace, save for Christ, defies reasonable explanation. I should not be this successful. I should not be the hero I am. Here I am though, still writing the story. I thank Jesus for that.