[E]very person is a unique source of transformative insight and human potential. Our lives are a process of constant discovery and invention. Each of us lives a unique human life.*
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches. […]‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.**
(Jesus of Nazareth)
The thing about the two short stories about the mustard seed and yeast is that something very small was able to transform what was already there. It was likely that the particular mustard plant clambered over existing plants and trees and the yeast needs flour to work its magic.
It is true for the individual as it is for the society.
We need to find the (often) small thing that will transform what is already present in our lives.
It may be an idea, a story or a person:
An animateur (from the root animer) is someone who “brings to life” a new way of thinking, seeing, or interacting that creates focus or energy.^
Stories that have enduring strength of myths reach through experience to touch the genius in each of us.^^
When we connect with and transform what is already within us then we become animateurs to others.
Beneath the way things are, we find deeper things from which everything new is possible:
Myth provokes explanation but accepts none of it. […] Explanations establish islands, even continents of order and predictability. But these regions were first charted by adventurers whose lives are narratives of exploration and risk. They found them only by mystic journeys into the wayless open. When the less adventuresome settlers arrive later to work out the details and domesticate these spaces, they easily lose the sense that all this firm knowledge does not expunge myth but floats on it.^^
I love James Carse’s phrase “into the wayless open” and this is exactly where we find ourselves – stepping into yet undiscovered continent’s of life-in-all-its-fullness.