Pop quiz: How many iconic Superheroes have a relationship with their parents? Or, let’s just say, their fathers? Most fathers are dead or absent, right? (Some, like Black Panther, have a mother that’s still alive.)
What’s going on? Professor Jospeh Campbell worked in comparative mythology and comparative religion. He was consulted by many great story tellers of our time, like George Lucas. Campbell theorised that every ‘hero’s journey’ requires him/her to have no support or safety net (parents/home) as they venture off into the world to face their own giants (and worst fear)…Only to return to the ordinary, transformed; a hero in their own right… Only to be called out to adventure again the next episode ?
Ancient literature, including the Bible, is full of these stories. From Genesis chapt. 3 & 4 there is already conflict, rivalry, exile and spiritual encounter. Moses: found and raised by foster parents, later to lead Israel. Joseph: ditched by bothers, later to rule. Jesus: raised by step-father… the pattern and symbolism are all there. And to some degree, we can all relate – because their story is ours.
I’m asking, is permanent fatherlessness a necessity? Or an advantage? Perhaps the better question is: If you don’t have present parents, who will mentor, raise and bless you on your journey? If it’s not a parent, how about a parenting figure? For a part of their journey… Frodo has Gandalf. Neo has Morpheus. Luke Skywalker has Obi-Wan. Harry has Dumbledore. Karate kid has Mr Myagi. Katniss has Haymitch. Spidey has Ironman. The disciples have Jesus. Timothy has Paul. See the symbolism?
The most compelling stories touch our hearts deeply. These block-busters appeal to us because we relate to the need for mentors, companions, challenges, divine encounters and quiet returns.
Tomorrow is Father’s Day in Australia. I think it’s a good reminder to be grateful for those who believed in us, trained us, blessed us and equipped us along the way. I know I have many! For Jesus followers, I think it’s also worth remembering that we have an ever-present companion in Christ; supernatural empowerment through Holy Spirit, and a Father who is darn proud of us.
Perhaps too, it’s worth considering the heroes around us we can bless and encourage in their journey! I love how St Paul laid out the dilemma 2k years ago when he said, “For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” 1Cor4:15.
~ David Tensen
#parenting #journey #story #life #adventure #marvel #FatherSomeone #apostolic #desire
P.S. We currently have a free online course running which teaches you how to ‘pray an effective blessing’ over someone. It’s remarkable and could be something you’d like to use to bless a hero. https://davidtensen.thinkific.com/courses/the-4d-blessing-model