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The Anti-Hero

Some one in my recent history once described me as an anti-hero. The terminology came about as a reference to the kind of message I have been sharing, and why it seems to resonate with people of different walks of life.

So often in life, we are sold ideas and and methodologies of how to ‘win’ in life, how to ‘succeed’ and how to get everything you want. Such is the fairy tale ending that we all seem to be after. Our lives, no matter which part of the journey we are on, seem to be aiming for this ultimate destination where we can say we have won, or succeeded, or found that place where we can live happily ever after. This idea of thinking is endemic in our culture, and is also seeping into Christian faith based practice. It would seem the measure of our life is by how well we have done in either our marriage, our job, or our material possessions.

When we are children, we cannot wait till we are teenagers and the world is our oyster. When we are teenagers, we can’t wait till we leave school and gain some independence. When we have left school, we can’t wait till we have graduated to get our first job and start earning money. When we are single, we can’t wait till we are married (or settled down) with the women/man of our dreams. Then, kids become the panacea, followed by the desire to be rid of them. Finally, retirement seems to the pinnacle of our life’s achievements. At every step of the way, the next step seems to be greener grass that we desire. The fairy tale ending is just within our reach, yet just beyond it.

By far the majority of us will never find the promised fairy tale ending. Most of us will keep reaching for the next branch, thinking that will be the final one, only to discover it wasn’t as good as we anticipated, or that there are many other branches to climb before we arrive…. arrive where exactly, its hard to say.

Perhaps that is why my story resonates with people. Statistically, I’m unlikely to find my fairy tale ending. The next steps in life for me are probably going to be painful, and full of suffering. I will endure some of the hardest things I will ever have to face, and friends and family will be dragged through the same turmoil. There is no fairy tale ending here, only sadness, mourning, loss, and grief.

If we try to find our purpose in the ending, we only end up losing ourselves in the process of getting there. What I have discovered is that the purpose is in the journey, no matter where that journey leads us. The path we are on, no matter how successful or unsuccessful is littered with stories of meaning, of relationships, and of purpose. Through finding meaning in the journey, I am at peace that my outcome will NOT be the fairy tale ending, I have found purpose in the day to day living of my life. The colours are brighter, the relationships more vivid, and what it means to serve humanity is more apparent. I’m okay with dying, and I have come to that place by finding meaning and purpose in the journey rather than the destination.

Let’s also be clear, I’m not saying that meaning is found by accepting our inevitable and slow demise, I’m saying that by realizing it is the journey that is important, the inevitable demise no longer matters. The ending, whether good or bad pales into insignificance when contrasted against the reality of living the way God intended in our lives now.

I also have to be clear on another point. I have described the meaning found in the journey above without using God language, but the reality for me is that faith is an integral part of that journey. I cannot imagine any of these things apart from God. The meaning, the sanctity of life, the value of serving humanity, all comes from one source. And as such, deserves all my attention, all my focus, and all my energies.

This is why I’m an anti-hero. I don’t talk about conquering, overcoming, or being the victor. I talk about the reality of suffering in my life, and why I’m at peace with that. I talk about why more often or not, there is no fairy tale ending.

Thanks for listening.

Categories: Blog, Faith Tags: , , ,
  1. Tracey Bradley
    January 12, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I thank God that I saw you on Good Morning one day last
    year as the Inspiring kiwi as this led me to sign up to your blog
    and follow your journey. You have inspired me in many ways and your
    faith story is a real encouragement. God is using you in many ways
    so be encouraged that he is at work in many lives through your
    faith story. I remember you and your family in my prayers and will
    continue to do so.

  2. Sandy Ross
    January 12, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Great wisdom Jared. Thank you for sharing – Sandy

  3. January 12, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Such a good post. Love it.

  4. January 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Amen to that Jared. Sometimes I need to be reminded of my purpose. It is not to acquire and gain for self. It is to be a blessing to others. You are doing that. Thanks for your post.

  5. becks
    January 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm


  6. Xee
    January 15, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Dear Jared, Thank you for this post. It has been a real an eye opener. You’ve beautifully elaborated on the saying ” Life is a journey, not a destination “

  7. jess :)
    January 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Heya Jared, good thoughts there. A fantastic way to start the new year and re-evaluate what it is that we are doing with our time and how our attitude changes everything. God bless you.

  8. Debbie
    January 16, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    so true – great insights – and a great reminder to us all – thank you Jared 🙂

  9. Maree
    January 29, 2011 at 2:03 am

    Hi Jared, thanks for your honesty and sharing this important message with us. Hugs,Maree

  10. kristiananderson
    February 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Hey mate….

    It’s good to know that the God we serve was known as a man of sorrows. He was was familiar with pain and knew what it was to suffer.

    Like you and me… and our families that watch us fight as hard as we can to stay alive, enduring every poke and prod and needle and drug and side effect.

    I have a different view to yours on my own end but yours still strikes a chord with me. We really do have to lose our life to find it. In some bizarre way, people like you and me are the lucky ones because our eyes are opened before it’s too late to affect change in our lives. In the way we relate to others, care for them, treat them…. and in how we understand our God.

    WIthout faith I’d be just a dead man walking.

    But I know, whenever your time comes, the sadness will be tempered with the knowledge that as we mourn you will be hearing the words I know I long for…. Well done, good and faithful servant.

    I hope to meet you face to face soon, my friend. I know I will probably burst into tears as I meet a brother on the same road as me. Someone who has intimate knowledge of the journey and the suffering it brings.

    I’m looking forward to it, not so we can wallow in self pity but so we can celebrate what we have already made it through and what God has done whilst the storm rages around us.

  11. Sarah
    February 9, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Destination heaven – for all of us who have a Christian faith.

  12. Eileen Frost
    June 9, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    watched 60mins tonight, I know what the partners are going through and can only pray for God’s help for you all daily. My husband died of cancer and it devastated me. Each day God gave me strength to get through and the day my husband died he sat up and called for me to come closer and he said I’m going now. Such peace he was home with the God he loved so much. Life is a journey em brace it. Love to you all. Eileen.

  13. Theresa
    October 12, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Jared, this is stunning wisdom, wow………thank you so much for sharing. Just reading your blog, older posts, and praying for you, as you continue on this journey. Hope your holiday is going well!

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