Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: Change

Hero embarking on a journey

Into the Unknown

Hero embarking on a journey

The Hero’s Journey

What do Froto Baggin’s from Lord of the Rings, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Marlin from Finding Nemo, and Luke Skywalker from Star Wars all have in common, besides being movie characters? They’ve all experienced the Hero’s journey. I’m in the plotting process of book six of the Leeward Island series (The Marquis’s Pursuit is off to the editor), so my brain is focused on character arcs or what’s also called the Hero’s journey. It got me thinking about how God plots a similar path for us.

The Hero’s journey is a cycle where the Hero starts in the known world, journeys into the unknown, and returns changed into a new known. It’s comprised of three acts: 1. the separation or call to adventure, 2. initiation or death/rebirth, and 3. the return or resolution. For example, in The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s separation is physically done by the tornado that drops her house into Oz, where her adventure begins. Her initiation follows as she follows the yellow brick road, and she meets the scarecrow, lion, and tin man. Through trials and triumphs, she discovers a way to defeat The Wicked Witch of the West and return to Kansas. However, Dorothy goes back a changed woman. As part of the resolution or new normal, she holds a new appreciation for her family and friends.

We relate to the Hero’s journey so well because God propels us on our own journey to better walk in His purpose. He coaxes us out of our comfort zone to step into the unknown, where He uses trials and triumphs to mold us more and more into his image. In 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul says, “We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings more and more glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” To become more like Christ and reflect Him more and more, we must allow ourselves to be refined. Sometimes it’s a quick journey, but other times it takes multiple trips around the mountain, painful backtracking, and even psychological death to old ways of thinking to come home as a new person. Romans 8:18 states, “We have sufferings now, but these are nothing compared to the great glory that will be given to us.”

Helper up a ramp

We aren’t journeying alone. If suffering, trials, and the thought of psychological death, have us crawling back to the couch to hide under a blanket, do not fear. We must remember a vital aspect of the Hero’s journey. A helper comes alongside the Hero to guide him along his path. For Dorothy, it was Glenda the good witch, for Froto – Sam Wise, Nemo – Dora, Luke Skywalker – Obi-Wan, but for us, we get someone even better—the Holy Spirit. We are not alone in our journey. The Great Comforter walks beside us, guiding us towards our purpose, urging us to stay on the path, picking us up when we stumble, and redirecting us when we lose our way.  

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Pushing a hay bay

It’s Time to Move It

Person running

Coasting only got us so far before we rolled to a stop.
There was only so much of a workout we could do in our basement. We started well, getting up and trying to keep a routine, but after the first few weeks, our exercises shortened, energy lessened, and commitment dropped. As soon as the state of Massachusetts allowed gyms to open, my husband signed us up for Crossfit. After being at home, Crossfit was a jump from level 1 to level 20. It requires a different kind of person, and it’s not me. I was sore every day for over four months. I still ache, but oddly, I’m starting to appreciate it because if I’m not pushing my body, my muscles become weak.

Writing can be the same way. The first blog I wrote took me a full three days to write, and it was only a half-page in length. It was a painful process, filled with self-doubt. Thankfully, I’ve become faster and more confident in my writing. Many novelists spend a year or more writing their first manuscripts only to toss them in a drawer or lock them away in their computer. I didn’t understand how they could sacrifice their hard work until I did it. Those first novels weren’t a waste. I think of them as boot camp training where I developed my writing muscles.

To change, we have to move.
It means making sacrifices and pushing through the temptation to give up. Change in the right direction will make us stronger. If we stay still, we atrophy. The same goes for our spiritual muscles. It weakens when we aren’t around other Christians, praying regularly, or attending church. We not only have to fight atrophy, but we also have to fight Newton’s law which states that objects at rest tend to stay at rest. It’s more work to get a flywheel started than it is to keep it moving. It’s easier to stay at home or stay in bed. Evil wants to keep our lives small, but God wants us to live with a grand purpose.

Pushing a hay bale

Change isn’t easy.
As soon as we set things in motion, opposition steps in. It tells us we’re out of shape, we don’t have Juwhat it takes, or to let someone more capable step up. Even Gideon tried to talk God out of changing him. An angel of the Lord found him hiding in a winepress to thresh his wheat and called him out. “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you.” Gideon probably looked over his shoulder to see if someone was standing behind him or if he was being punked by Candid Camera. He probably pointed to his chest and said, “Who me?” Judges 6:15 says Gideon replied, “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”

Covid-19 brought the world to a stop.
Many churches are talking about having to rebuild. It’s time to give the world a nudge or a push to take a step in faith. Let’s get some momentum moving in our favor. Galatians 6:9 says, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” It’s time to get up and move.

It won’t be easy, but if we move, God will move. As He demonstrated with Gideon, if we stretch our faith muscle, God will show up, and He’ll show off.

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