I’ve been fascinated with various culture’s mythologies since the 6th grade when I spent my summer checking out every book our small library had on Greek mythology. Certain elements of mythology, like dragons, have that certain something that seem to ignite the imagination. In European and Western mythology, the dragon was usually a harbinger of doom and a breather of fire. It was most certainly something to be feared. In Eastern mythology, the dragon was most often associated with water and symbolized both wisdom and longevity. Both types of dragons were often portrayed as having a fondness for treasure; and both had a somewhat snake-like appearance. Snakes with treasure — sound familiar?
Often the stories of the dragon treasure were circulated far and wide; thus attracting those who wished to get rich quickly. These too-greedy-for-their-own-goodnicks would meet a crispy or crunchy end — ushering in the next tragic character. Let me state, for the record, that I am tired of getting my butt burned. Especially in my younger years, that serpent’s treasure lured me time and time again. The promise was always the same: take some of this treasure. It’s all you need, and it costs you nothing. The outcome was always the same, too: empty hands and a burned butt — not to mention the occasional fang mark.
Enter the hero of the story — the conqueror of the dragon. By some mark of fate, this sojourner was different. Through a magical element, a purity of heart or a craftiness that the dragon hadn’t anticipated, the hero succeeded where everyone else had failed. They were equipped differently. Their strategy was more often bolder. Their purpose wasn’t simply treasure, but something more.
Only in God’s vision of my life could I become the hero of my own story. Only He had the vision to make me “more than a conqueror.” He made me see that there was more to life than failure and the smell of burnt hair. He made me the best kind of hero. He helped me to slay the dragon, and walk away from the treasure. Because after all, the treasure was never my quest.