Skip to main content

Posts

Distracted by the Temptress

"Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Matthew 16:23 The next stage of the Hero's Journey is often called "Woman as Temptress".  Similar to the last stage, the connection to the feminine is tenuous at best.  In this stage, the Hero is distracted by something that is not in line with their quest.  It is often the temptation of a physical, material, comfort, or carnal nature.  Let's look at a couple of examples. In the original Star Wars Trilogy, Luke and Han became distracted by Leia.  They swooned over her and fought with each other in an attempt to impress her.  On several occasions, this put them in serious danger.  In The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Frodo is tempted to give the ring to Gandalf, Galadriel, and even Sam.   In the story of Samson, he faced the Temptress in the form of Delilah who used his love for her to trick him over and ove
Recent posts

Encounter the Animus

“The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” - Luke 17:20b-21 The next stage in the Hero's Journey is often called "Meeting the Goddess".  I find this language restrictive though because this stage of the journey is not about encountering the "feminine" but about encountering the ultimate good in one's opposite.  It's about the Hero being judged for their virtues or their moral character before receiving a great boon.   In Star Wars, Luke encountered Leia and she judged him to be virtuous so they connected immediately. On the other hand, Han Solo was judged to be selfish and Leia talked down to him and poked fun at him until he signed on to a moral cause and was worthy of the attention and blessing of the "goddess".   Aaron Lowry pointed out that the "goddess" does not even need to be human, and this is why

The Road of Trials

"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." - Proverbs 17:22  Samson kept a Nazarite vow since his birth.  This meant that he was not to drink wine, touch corpses, or cut his hair.  God's blessing came from this vow, and it is said that his strength was in his hair.  As an adult, he fell in love with a Philistine woman named Delilah.  Delilah colluded with the Philistines to trick Samson, but the Power of God saved him.  We see this pattern play out over and over in Judges 13-16 with a long series of stories where God's power saved Samson from their traps.  Their plans increase in complexity, but Samson seemed unbothered.   The story reminds me of the cartoons of coyote and the roadrunner.  The coyote is always trying out some new plan or trick to catch the roadrunner, but the roadrunner is too fast for him.  The roadrunner gets so comfortable with this dynamic that he starts to play with the coyote, taunting him.  In the same way, Sams

The Belly of the Whale

"For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights." - Matthew 12:40 Jonah was on a boat fleeing from his task when the storm struck.  When it was clear the storm would tear the boat apart, the members of the crew gathered together to try and figure out what to do.  Jonah knew he was at fault and he knew that everyone's lives were in danger because of his choices.  He told them to do what he could not.  He told them to throw him overboard.  They resisted, but after he insisted they complied.  The storm ended and the boat and crew were saved, but Jonah was swallowed by a great fish.  This terrible situation is where we get the saying "in the belly of the whale".   In the Hero's Journey, this is often placed at the beginning of the great trials.  In the story of Jonah, we are told that he was in the belly of the great fish for three days.  In that

The First Threshold

So I say that we have courage. And we really want to be away from this body and be at home with the Lord. - 2 Corinthians 5:8 In Genesis 11 Abraham's father Terah took his family and left the great city of Ur, capital of the Chaldeans, and set off for Canaan, the promised land of God.  We are not told what encounter with God led to this relocation, but we are told that they didn't make it to Canaan.  They stopped in the city of Harran, and Terah never went any further.  Years later Abraham received the call from God and he took up the adventure that his father could not.  He took his family and his nephew into the land of Canaan.  The first steps in an adventure, that filled the rest of the pages of Genesis.  This first step, the crossing of the threshold from city life to the unknown of the countryside, is reported in a few sentences in Genesis 11-12, but the internal struggle must have been incredible.   In The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo and Sam were walking through some f

Supernatural Aid

"Peter replied, “Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him." - Matthew 14:28-29 CEV The third stage of the Hero's Journey is supernatural aid or intervention.  At this point, the hero has been called to an adventure, but they have refused the call.  Supernatural aid shows up to encourage the hero to participate in the adventure.   Joseph was betrothed to a young woman who had told him something that crushed him.  She had called him to an adventure that he was not yet ready for.  She had told him that she was pregnant.  The baby was not his, it couldn't be, they had not been together yet.  He loved her, but he couldn't do this.  If he let anyone know that she had been unfaithful, the village would form a mob and stone her, he couldn't have that on his conscience.  He steeled himself as he prepared to quietly leave her.  That night as he slept

The Refusal of the Call

"But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go...?" - Exodus 3:11a The second stage of the Hero's Journey is called the refusal of the call.  Moses provides a great example of this stage as well.  Last week we talked about how Moses had just left his sheep behind to explore a strange burning bush.  As he stood in awe and prepared to approach, he heard a voice from within the flames call out to him.  God invited Moses to participate in an epic adventure, God told him that he would rescue the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.  Moses had some objections.      "Who am I!?" Moses called out in a twisted sense of humility.  God encouraged Moses, agreeing to go with him, but Moses had another objection.  "I'd love to God, but I don't really know you, and if the people ask for your name they would know I was a fraud." To this God gave Moses his sacred name. Moses objected again "they won't believe me!".  God produced several miracles