- a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.
- any invented story, idea, or concept.
- an imaginary or fictitious thing or person.
- an unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution. 
In Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, he combines understandings of comparative mythology with contemporary psychology to describe universal components that not only explain a hero’s journey, but the journey of the society in which they are in. Campbell weaves these consistent threads through exploration of several components, all of which have an innate mystery embedded. Influential in popular storytelling such as Star Wars, it is hard to unsee the commonalities when looking at mythologies once he explains them.
For me, Campbell writes in an academic manner that I can tend to get lost in, but I also do not naturally gravitate towards the mythologies or science fiction genres in books or entertainment. At the same time, I’m not sure if it’s due to being a follower of Jesus, but I have a comfortability level with mystery and knowing that not everything will have a rational or demonstrable explanation. There are many things that I simply tell myself and others that I will not understand this side of Heaven. I’m grateful for biblical scholars and academics that are wired in a way to dig deep and understand concepts, illustrations, and allegory in a way that I simply do not. I’m fascinated by perspectives and teaching on such mysteries found in books such as Revelation but can also walk away from a teaching with a desire to search more during my own study time while content with the unknown. Perhaps it is my naiveté or simply how I was created, but I take great joy in connecting with the Father who I cannot fully comprehend. His vastness is much too large, and for me, there is security in that.
While Campbell refers to biblical stories such as the unimaginable hardships Job faced and Mary with the virgin birth, he delves into so many other mythological characters that have come from all areas of the world that reflect just as many different people groups, cultures, and societies. And yet, common to them all are these twelve components of the journey which begin with the call towards adventure and conclude with identifying areas of transformation. While a heavy read, it is fascinating to see how these components play out in not just stories, but in each individual and their given societal context. As the popular Chinese proverb states: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I’m taking the stance that taking the next step rather than trying to understand the mystery before I move will yield a better outcome in the end, and likely along the way too.
A few questions that emerge for me as I explore this text are:
- As followers of Christ, how do we embark on the journey without trying too hard to control it along the way?
- As leaders, how to we encourage movement for those around us that may be stuck in one specific area and the journey appeared stalled?
- As disciples, how to we live in such a way the embraces the mystery of Christ without falling into escapism (not facing present realities by simply saying it’s a mystery)?
 Dictionary.com, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/myth