I remember diving into books as a child and imagining me as the hero. What would I do with the talents, super powers, or gifts that each of those main characters were equipped with.
Then there were the movies, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Goonies, The NeverEnding Story, Die Hard, The Karate Kid, The Princess Bride and so many more. Each one showing what a person was capable of.
I wanted to be Atreyu, with the world of fantasy and possibility. I wished for the confidence that the Man in Black had when facing insurmountable odds. I looked for the “good fight” in the lives around me.
Romance, adventure, making the world a safer place – I wanted to feel like there was something more important, something greater in life.
And the real world chiseled away at my childhood imagination. Bills, responsibilities, plans, expectations. But I always hoped one day a door would open to a new adventure, or a meteor would crash down on me and I would have super powers, a book comes alive, or I would find an old map.
Now I’ve created adventures in my life: kids, hobbies, challenges to overcome, and even my career. These adventures might not be so fantastical as in my youth, I have to pay attention to the amazing world I live in.
I want to be a super hero, a champion, a farm boy with a sword…But I don’t feel much like any of those most days. I have unhealthy habits. I have road rage. I am jealous, saddened, angry, frightened, lazy, overwhelmed, and all those other things.
Then I think of the heroes in all of our favorite stories. Superman trying to understand the world he has adopted. Bastien afraid to name The Childlike Princess. The reluctant Willow, a farmer and budding magician, unsure of how to save a baby from the evil sorceress Queen. Bill & Ted wanting to rock out as Wyld Stallyns instead of doing their homework…which will lead to saving the future.
While each Hero has faults and slips, we don’t always listen to the part that makes us most interested. The story of how, when faced with great challenge, the Hero manages to work through it.
This is the story of life. I hate all of my fallacies. I despise the decision of sitting on a couch instead of doing the dishes. I abhor writing bills. I hide my potential behind a mask. One that no one else gets to see who I really am as I’m afraid to let them.
But like our heroes, we must look for what is right and work towards that goal. Sometimes, just sometimes, the mask comes off and we fight through our own villains inside of ourselves. It means doing what is right, even when it’s not easy.
I means taking a chance on ourselves first – that we might dig that champion out from under the rock we shoved on him in the first place. Because trying might lead to failure.
But have you ever noticed that in the best stories, failure is never the end. It’s simply the beginning of the good part.
“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.”