The Heroic Journey: The Call

Post by Jared Hartenstein

The Heroic Journey

After discussing adventure from 30,000 feet over the last few weeks, let's look at the process of adventure.

Each of our lives is a journey, a series of events that often confuse us, raising more questions than answers. The source we go to for answers to these questions determines the path we travel and our final destination. When we take our questions to our Heavenly Dad, we walk the path of The Heroic Journey, where He takes us on many adventures to grow us as His sons and daughters into the men and women He created us to be.

Each of our adventures consists of three stages: the Call, the Wilderness, and the Return. 

The Call

The first stage of the Heroic Journey is the Call to Adventure, where our heavenly Dad calls us onto a wholly new, uncertain path that leads to a greater story He writes daily (Eph. 1:4-5). We will answer the call to adventure, one way or another. Like every phone call we receive, we have two choices when we hear our Father's call: we can either accept or reject it.

Each one of us has a way of operating daily, and if we are honest, our Father's adventures don't usually fit the mold. When we reject the call, we decide to stay on our current path and move ahead as the author of our smaller story, carrying life as a burden (Prov. 16:25). No matter how many times we reject the call, we still feel it's draw to life; we are haunted by it, feeling a hole within our hearts that nothing on this planet can ever truly satisfy. Thankfully, even when we reject our Father's voice, He never stops calling to us, continuing to pursue us as His Sons and Daughters.

When we accept the call, we choose the new path our Heavenly Dad offers and allow Him to answer our questions, making Him the author of our story (John 1:12-13, 15:15). Here we begin to see what true life is. At first, the enchantment of the call and hope of freedom and life energizes us to persevere. It doesn't take long before we lose hope and realize the adventure requires more of us than we expected. At that moment, we realize we have entered into the Wilderness...

Stories around the Fire

In 2019, I spent a semester at the University of Montana. I found myself alone thousands of miles away from my family in a school culture that neither believed nor cared for my views. It was not easy, to say the least. But as hard as it was, it was only the beginning of a longer adventure that would challenge my way of operating. I thought I was going to spend the next three years in Montana earning a bachelor's degree in Literature, and then move on to acquire my masters and eventually, a P.h.D. Yet, the entire time I pursued what I thought I wanted, I felt a holy discontentment, and as I prayed and listened for my Father's voice, the next step became clear, though I didn't understand it. I realized I needed to go home, back to Ohio. At first, I rejected this call to adventure because returning home didn't fit the way I was operating; the smaller story I was living didn't include Ohio, or it's people. Most of my life I've spent running from what I truly desire out of fear, fear that I won't have what it takes, fear that in the end, I won't be good enough. My Father's call challenged my views on life, and despite my fear, the desire for life and freedom energized me to say 'yes' to the call. I didn't see what was coming or how much my Father would challenge my smaller story, as I stepped into the Wilderness...
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