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Posts Tagged ‘epic’

Epic

John Eldredge’s books have become wildly popular among Christians. The Sacred Romance and Wild at Heart have sold millions of copies and have firmly established Eldredge as one of the most-read Christian authors. Wild at Heart has been studied in men’s groups across the world, giving Eldredge a wide reach and his teachings great acceptance. In his book about the greatest story ever told – Epic he changes his emphasis and focuses on the great story – our common story.

Epic tells us that life is a story which unfolds like a grand drama. It seems that humans have an obsession with stories. From the time we are tiny children we love to hear stories about heroes and villains, good guys and bad. The reason we love story so much, Eldredge writes, is that there is something in the human heart that tells us there is an epic story going around us, where God is the central character, but where we also play an important role. We love stories about the conquering hero who arrives at the last possible moment to save his lover, because that is exactly what Jesus has done for us.  Which story we choose to focus on is a bit like looking at a landscape – do we focus on the detail of the ground or do we lift our eyes to the sky to watch the drama unfold.

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The book, then, revolves around stories. The author supports his claims with example after example from popular movies. A few of the movies he references are Apollo 13, Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Saving Private Ryan, Pinocchio, Finding Nemo, Titanic, Braveheart, Gladiator (no surprise if you have read Wild at Heart) and Star Wars. He relies heavily on quotes from other writers such as G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Phillip Yancey, Gerald May, Soren Kierkegaard, George MacDonald and William Shakespeare. The book also contains plenty of Bible verses.

The true story of every person in this world is not the story you see, the external story. The true story of each person is the journey of his or her heart. – John Eldredge

Eldredge reminds us that there are two stories we are always living  – the small story and the epic story.  Both are lived at the same time, in the same place, however they have wildly different endings.  Our task is to remember that the great and epic story is the one God invites us to.  He invites us to belive that every moment, every action, every thought and word matters, and that everything is spiritual – because it is all about the epic story that God is telling.

This week, may you be reminded about your role and character in this story, you may not know the detail yet, but God does.  It is no small part, the question is always – do you have eyes to see, and ears to hear?  May God help you this week to choose which story you will live in, and maybe, just maybe – as others see you living your epic story, they will be inspired to do the same.

Epic

In the outpost of my mind
Confusion lingers still
It flys around the crowded space
Against and by my will

The small story of this life
Attempts to thwart my soul
It beckons as it whispers
Only we can make you whole

The greater story opens up
It throws light across the page
The words speak life and lives
From the cradle to the grave

The stories battle on
They win and lose the fight
The stories of the light and dark
But day always thwarts the night

Every word and every line
Every plot and theme
The villain and the hero
All take there turn it seems

The greater story is your life
Your props, your lines, your part
It is how God transforms you now
As your life becomes His art

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We lose the Story every day. It is continually being stolen from us by the Evil one – the ultimate desconstructionist. He twists and spins and pulls apart the truth until the fragments we have left are unrecognizable. Or we lose it ourselves in the marketplace of Vanity Fair. Bombarded by thousands of messages each day, every one of them marked urgent, we leave behind the truly important things, the only refuge for our hearts.

We must be more intentional about holding on to the truth. The spiritual pilgrims who aligned themselves with St. Benedict took this task seriously—far more seriously than we do, I’m afraid. A typical day in the lives of Benedictine monks began in the middle of the night, when they arose for the Night Office. No less than twelve psalms would be said, together with three Scripture readings, several hymns, and prayers. Sunrise brought the Morning Office, followed by six other breaks during the labors of the day for remembering: Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline in the evening. Seven times a day set aside for prayer and the recitation of psalms. Together with their night vigil, more than twenty-nine psalms would be said, not to mention numerous lessons, verses, prayers, and hymns.

Now, I’m not suggesting that we all adopt the Rule of Benedict. But think about this: these men left the distractions of the world to focus entirely on God. They lived in an environment designed to keep them standing before God, and what did they discover? That they needed reminders every hour of the day and night! Do we, who live in the hostile chaos of the world, think we can do with an occasional visit?

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The greater story is epic. It is greater than us, greater than our community, and greater than our planet. In comparison to the greater story, our earth is really just a pale blue dot.

May you this week believe and choose to live in the greater story, change your perspective, and see that every encounter, every meeting, every word is spiritual and has meaning far beyond what we could imagine or hope for. May you be captivated by this great story, because it is your story.

The Pale Blue Dot

On a pale blue dot
In a sunbeam of light,
Our tiny earth
Spins day into night.

Our dot is so small
In a universe so vast,
We think we’re immortal
Forever we’ll last.

We live and we die
In peace and through war,
We all exist on this dot
But do we love any more?

So who made this dot
And moved space through time,
To make the earth spin
On no more than a dime?

It’s so easy to forget
To remember it seems,
Our mote of dust
Suspended in a sunbeam.

Some content adapted from John Eldredge

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