Dysfunctional family. Before you say you’ve got it hard, hear this man’s story – a dad that was publicly unfaithful and rarely around, a stepmom who was vengeful against her husband’s illegitimate kids, a life of impossible trials, manipulated into spurts of insanity where one time when he was not in his right mind he even killed his own children and two of his brother’s kids … these are just some of the highlights.
When he was just an infant laying in his crib, his stepmother sent two snakes to strangle him. But not this guy. He grabbed the snakes and strangled them – as a baby.
He is The GOAT.
His name – Hercules. Forever known as a hero full of strength and valor and service to his fellow man. He over came his dysfunctional past. But life wasn’t easy.
Did you know he choose this path?
Early in his life, he stood at a crossroad. Not the metaphorical kind, a literal place where two roads crossed. Two women appeared to him and they offered him a choice.
The first said, I am Pleasure. She offered ease and luxury. Friends and a happy home. He would have no wants, endure no toils, and never know sorrow. And though your kids will remember you fondly, few others will.
The second said, I am Duty. She offers forever hardships, a restless life, pain, grief, and more. But … you will he remembered by all of mankind. You will be a hero and your name will forever be spoken with awe.
His choice – well, you know his name don’t you? He choose duty. Even today, choosing duty in life is called …
Labors and tests filled his life. Grand journeys and epic labors. He killed wild monsters, outwitted Titans, spent time with Amazons (I wonder if he knew Wonder Woman?), fetches the Golden Apples of Hesperides, and brought Cerberus up from the underworld (the 3 headed dog , known as Fluffy in PotterWorld).
In the end, in agonizing pain from poisoning from his wife who thought she was giving him a love potion. In torment, he climbed a mountain, built his own funeral pyre, laid himself on the wood, and orders it to be set ablaze. But that long absent dad (Juno or Zeus depending on tradition) stepped in brought him to Olympus. He reconciled with his stepmother and was given a wife.
His life – defined by choices. And it started at a crossroad.
Your life – defines by choices. There may not be a literal crossroad – but you’ve got choices too.
In the words of Christine Caine …
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