This is #8 in Crossing the Threshold series.
In the beginning…..Once upon a time…..A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, these are words that capture our heart because they take us into the world of story. Story is important; it is far more than mere entertainment. Story is a way of seeing, a way of understanding, and a way of knowing. Take your own personal life; without your family story how would you know who you are? Indeed people who have been separated early in life from their family story often struggle with identity until they find a new family story to inhabit. Story helps you find your place in the universe. It brings order to your life; it pushes back the chaos by placing you in time and giving your life a framework.
Story also helps you remember. The world is extremely complex, so full of facts and information. Story helps you take all that data and place it into “story files”; giving you the ability to remember people, places and events by the context of story.
Story is a language, a mother tongue. As a baby you learned to communicate with words like Mama, Dada, and baby. These weren’t just first words, they were placing you as a character into an already ongoing narrative. This most basic orientation to life came through story.
Everyone deep down intuits this; they know they are a character in a story. They may not like the part they have been cast into but they sense they were meant to be part of a story. That is the appeal and the power of movies and novels. Most people want out of their own ordinary story even if but for a few hours; so they escape into a fictitious story one that promises more. There is one story above all others that appeals to this “more” and resonates with in the heart. It is the heroic adventure*. Think of the movies you love: Braveheart, Titanic, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Avatar, Gladiator, Harry Potter, Lion King, Robin Hood, Polar Express, Indiana Jones, Finding Nemo, ET, The Wizard of Oz, all of these and so many more have one thing in common. They all are about a hero who steps out of the ordinary world and into an epic adventure.