What is a call to adventure?

In Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, he talks about “The Hero’s Journey,” a ubiquitous story structure in which the protagonist or “hero” receives a call to action — the “call to adventure” — that takes him out of his comfortable life on a quest to a region unknown. According to Campbell, this is often represented by:

a distant land, a forest, a kingdom underground, beneath the waves, or above the sky, a secret island, lofty mountaintop, or profound dream state; but it is always a place of strangely fluid and polymorphous beings, unimaginable torments, superhuman deeds, and impossible delight. The hero can go forth of their own volition to accomplish the adventure… or they may be carried or sent abroad by some benign or malignant agent…. The adventure may begin as a mere blunder… or still, again, one may be only casually strolling when some passing phenomenon catches the wandering eye and lures one away from the frequented paths of man. Examples might be multiplied, ad infinitum from every corner of the world.

Decades ago (I can’t believe I can say “decades ago”, but yes, it was 20 years) – the hero’s journey reminded me so much of my life with baby after blessed baby coming and diagnosis after diagnosis being given. We left our comfortable childless life for the grand adventure of welcoming children, homeschooling, and trying, and often failing, to do God’s will. This was most definitely His call, and He was the supernatural being helping me along the way.

So I named my first blog “A Call to Adventure,” and writing about those often crazy years helped me make sense of it all and make a few friends along the way. As an aside, can I tell you how thrilled I was when I found out my “late discovery” half-uncle is named Joseph Campbell? It’s so prophetic, but in a hindsight kind of way, LOL.

Things are very different now, with the kids no longer being babies. My oldest is 23 and engaged. My youngest is taller than me! But the adventures continue. We are so blessed to be journeying together!

…beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~Rom 1:7

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