Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book of Life

Joseph Campbell spoke of viewing life as a story and yourself as a character in it. I think this is a beautiful perspective. Similarly, however, our lives are like books. There is a beginning, a story, then an ending. And as in life, what goes on after the ending is forever a mystery.

The chapters of our lives are not solely authored by us though, for we are part of a much larger story and therefore effected by that story’s unfolding. Yet we do have much to do with our own tale – our will, our choices, our mistakes, our strengths, gifts, and weaknesses all contribute to what’s being written.

As with many adventures, sometimes it's hard to turn back around once we've veered off course and find ourselves struggling just to keep going. This is not a choose your own adventure story where if we don't like the outcome we can always go back to that last page and make a different choice.

No, in life we must live with the choices we make and their consequences, the good and the bad. Though sometimes we may not like where we currently are, we can at least do away with some anxiety in that we have only one way to go, and that is forward.

If we stumble on this path we must catch ourselves, if we fall we must get back up, and if we get lost we must find our way again. There will always be help along the way when we need it most. That is part of the mystery.

Surely we all feel hopeless sometimes, have all felt like things are not as they should be, like we are failing at this important task that is life. But often, and sometimes sudden, these moments of darkness fade, as though a new day has dawned, and we see the world yet again in a new light. Then we know that a new chapter has begun.