My younger son started the Percy Jackson series over Christmas. I read through them all with my older son two years ago, and I love them all. If you're not familiar with Percy Jackson and his friends, they are Greek demigods--the children of a human parent and a Greek God. (There are also Roman and Norse demigods wandering around in Rick Riordan's universe, but they come later.) As demigods, they have extraordinary abilities, and they face extraordinary challenges. The stories relate their exploration of both.
As my sister read the first few chapters of the first Percy Jackson book (The Lightening Thief) with my son, I was reminded that I liked the beginning of each book the best. Every book begins with the epiphany, as we learn that someone we originally thought ordinary instead was extraordinary--they have gifts, abilities, talents that allow them to face evil and transform their world.... At the beginning of each book, someone discovers that they can be a hero if they only have the courage to own this truth and follow the path down which it leads them.
That's true of each of us (and I'm sure that's Riordan's point). Not that we're demigods, but that we're gifted. We have strengths and talents through which we can transform our lives and our world, if we'll only recognize them. If we only can get to the epiphany.
That was so much of my job as a priest--helping people to recognize the ways that they were gifted and then providing them opportunities to act on those gifts. Even more, it's my vocation as a coach. I'm here because I believe that each of us is gifted and can play a role in transforming our world. I'm here to help you identify your gifts and to discover how your life through these gifts might be calling you.
The ironic thing--for many of us, the greatest courage is required for us simply to acknowledge our gifts. I don't know if we fear that our gifts will compel us to engage the world in ways that demand our best, or is our fear that claiming our gifts will appear arrogant? It takes courage to get to the epiphany--to our extraordinary truth. It's the first step of the heroe's journey, the journey to which we've each been called. I'm here if you'd like a companion as you take this first step.
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