I was in Junior High, and I read Tolkien for the first time. First, I read the Hobbit - in one sitting, on a Saturday while camping at the beach in Carlsbad, CA. Then the Lord of the Rings quickly followed. One character who took up a mere single chapter of the trilogy expanded to mythic proportions for me. I identified with the colorfully dressed, singing, dancing, carefree character who seemed to be dropped parenthetically into the middle of the book. When the ring twirled around his finger, he did not disappear like others, but even more powerful to the story, he did not care for the ring, and did not want to keep it. In fact, he knew that he would care so little for it, that eventually he would lose it, and that would be bad for the rest of the world, which balanced on the precipice of power struggles circling around this ring of power.
I wanted to be like Tom Bombadil. I wanted to leap carefree through a world of struggle and war, and have no consideration for the petty battles of men and their enemies.
Within the next few years I read Evangeline Walton's Tetralogy of the Mabinogion, and found myself identifying with the faithful and courageous Pwyll, who although taking on the form of another King for a whole year, and being told that everything in the Kingdom was his for that time, refused to sleep with the King's beautiful wife. The steadfast integrity and faithfulness of Pwyll captured my heart, and became a part of my own heart's desires. I also read of the warrior who laughed in battle, and as a freshman in High School thought that this was an attribute I wanted to make my own - to laugh in the face of war.
To greater and lesser degrees these things were part of my own personality, which I chose to embrace early. They were engrained more deeply, or perhaps awakened by myth. Myths as these carry power to transform. Stories larger than life activate my heart to dream large, and romantically engage with the dragons and monsters which war against my soul.
I wonder how actively we find the stories, and the history of scripture capturing our hearts like these myths captured mine while I was young? I have found myself dreaming in Biblical proportions, even like I dreamt in mythic proportions as a youth. In doing so perhaps I have captured the sense of the magic of myth, and applied it to the scripture. There is a reason we use the term "Biblical Proportions." The Bible stories like myth are larger than life. Those larger than life stories call me to something greater, and somehow seem to carry me along with some magic power of life transformation.