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Call to Adventure



Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” - Revelations 11:15 (ESV)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.“Behold, I am making all things new.” - Revelations 21:1 & 5b (ESV)


Today I want to begin a series on the Hero's Journey by Joseph Campbell.  The first stage of the Hero's Journey is the Call to Adventure or the Summoning.  Let's look at an example.

An ex-political leader was wandering the desert in exile after killing a member of law enforcement for oppressive violence.  After many years of wandering, he had acquired a new way of living, it was as a humble shepherd that he saw something that demanded his attention.  He left his flock to graze, while he investigated a strange flame in the distance.  As he got closer he could see that it was a bush ablaze, but as time passed he realized that the flame did not diminish and the bush was not consumed.  Just before taking another step he heard a voice call out to him from within the flame "Moses!".  The conversation that followed was the great call to adventure for Moses.  His story occupies much of the first five books of the Bible, and his legacy is embodied by the other 61 books of the Bible as well as thousands of years of faith tradition.  

In the Fellowship of the Ring, just before embarking on his own great adventure, Frodo quotes his Uncle Bilbo:

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

Moses had stepped out of his home that morning, just like any other morning, but he had no idea the wild journey he was about to embark on.  He was around 65 when he received the call to adventure.  In his mind, he had already lived out his big adventure, he fought the oppressor, ran for his life, and made himself anew.  Yet, here he was, being called out onto the road again, where there was no telling where he might be swept off to.   

After leading the Israelites to freedom he created a tradition where they were instructed to blow trumpets to greet each new year.  He also instructed them to blow trumpets at every full moon and new moon.  They still practice these traditions today.  The Israelites understand the cyclical nature of creation and they mark the beginning and end of the cycles with trumpets.  Many Christians interpret the last trumpet as the end of this world.  I suggest we embrace the wisdom of cycles by recognizing the last trumpet as another symbol of the Call to Adventure.  We are not only told that this world will end, but also that a New Heaven and a New Earth will begin.  That sounds like a trumpet marking the Call to Adventure to me.   

It can be easy to convince ourselves that our adventure has already passed.  We keep behind the door where we are safe from our wandering feet.  Sometimes though, our hearts call out for something more, and we hear a call toward something greater. We know it will change our lives forever, so what shall we do?

"If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet."  - Rachel Wolchin


May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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