Originally posted to Instagram on 11/24/2017:
In honor of my 36th birthday today, I made a self-portrait called "At the End of the Second Act."
In the second act, the main character tries to resolve the central conflict through the sheer force of his will and actions without paying too dear a price or being too courageous. The second act ends in a dramatic scene in which he finally accepts that he will have to pay the full price and do that which he is truly afraid of or simply allow the conflict to consume him.
Life is not a great play in three acts and I am no character playing a role, and yet the reason that three-act dramas are so powerful is that there is resonance in our lives when we experience the hero struggle through his lonely second act and we despair to see evil seemingly have its day. And it resonates with us because we all know the struggle that we create as something is being birthed in us. We've all seen that pattern in our own lives. In act one we first discover our Qwest, and in our naively ignorant passion, we have extreme confidence as we set out. The second act begins in massive conflict as we discover that the costs are far greater than we had thought and we're not prepared, so we try to force it but find that all our trying effort is futile. It is a choice that begins act three and that choice will determine if this drama is a hero's tale or a tragedy.
I think that this is what Jesus was talking about in the parable of the Pearl of great price. When you find the Pearl and you see its value, you get to be and do whatever it takes to obtain it. I'm sure that the merchant in that story had a second act where he tried to raise funding through every way he could in order to avoid the hard sacrifice of selling all that he had, but he eventually came to a choice and he chose to do the hard thing and in return, he gained everything.
Call it the second act, the day two darkness, the wilderness, or any other name- but do not call it foley or look at this time with disdain or with regret. For it is at this time that you learn everything you need to know and you refine those parts of you that hold you back.
I am ready for the third act.
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