We live in a culture where new is better. A rising tide of discontent for what is newer, shinier, thinner and faster drives most purchases. I would like to challenge your thinking….again!
In literature, newer does not necessarily mean better. Why shouldn’t we spend an equal amount of time, if not more, on “the classics”? Globally, there are an extraordinary number of books published each year. (2.2 million in 2012 alone) However, there are so many older “classics” I almost don’t know where to begin.
The question is which ones are worth reading? Many good books entertain us. To reach our full potential, we need to find the truly great ones that provide guidance for our spiritual journey through life.
As C. S. Lewis wrote, “all that is not eternal is eternally out of date”. Lewis encourages us to read classics.
Let’s start with the best seller of all time – a true classic – The Bible.
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Whether you are a Christian or not, we are all connected to a basic need to hear stories to understand ourselves. All of us are on a quest to find truth on our spiritual journey.
The human condition seeks what Joseph Campbell, in The Hero with A Thousand Faces, calls, The Heroes Journey. It’s a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through all the worlds’ mythic traditions. All epic stories consist of 3 parts. Departure; a hero ventures forth on a quest. Initiation; he is aided or mentored by others along the way. Return; he accomplishes the mission.
Next to the Bible, Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan is, the most popular “classic” ever published. It has been widely distributed the world over since the 17th century. But many aren’t familiar with the story, or its famous author.
Pilgrims Progress tells the spiritual journey of a man named Christian. He departs the city of destruction. He is on a mission to reach Heaven. Along the quest he encounters many obstacles that test his faith, as well as many interesting characters, that show him the difference between right and wrong.
It’s the spiritual journey we all face, Christian or not. It’s the greatest example of the Heroes Journey. Once read, you realize how many universal types of people, events and situations are trying to pull you off course in your journey.
The easiest way to experience this is by watching it as a movie. We watched it on a movie night at our house, and the kids liked it! Listen to it on CD. Read it for free if you have an iPad or Kindle nook.
This classic brings to life the story of our universal challenges. Check this one off your list of books as a classic you have read!
Attitude: Think how the most famous “classic” of all time might help you.
Action: Order this movie or CD, or download the free eBook as soon as you can.
Question: Share with me, what resources have helped you the most on your journey through life?
Resource: Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
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