You’ve spent hours in the Lost Woods, fighting off enemies and solving mind-rattling puzzles. You’ve searched every corner and under every bush for clues that will lead you to your goal. You’ve proven yourself to be a hero of great strength, courage, and wisdom. Finally, it stands before you: The Master Sword.
If you’ve played any of the Legend of Zelda games, you’ll know what I’m talking about. As the only weapon capable of defeating the evil villain Ganon (usually), obtaining the Master Sword is a requisite step towards saving the kingdom. The quest to get the sword is usually quite the journey unto itself and finally finding it can be incredibly fulfilling. We go into the woods, defeat our enemies, and get our prize. Game over!
Except, it isn’t.
We still have to take that magical sword, fight our way to the big bad guy, defeat the villain, rescue the princess, and save the kingdom.
Life can be kind of like this sometimes.
I spent years of working, schooling, proposing, volunteering, dreaming, and pining for a new job. I applied all over the place, tried to create my own work, and tried to convince the church that they should hire me.
And eventually, they did.
And it felt just like pulling the Master Sword from its resting place deep within the Lost Woods. I had proven myself and been judged worthy. I had completed my quest. It was all over.
Except, it isn’t.
This new job isn’t the end. It isn’t the beginning, either. It’s another step on a lifelong mission to shine light where it’s most needed, to push back the forces of darkness, and to see the Kingdom move forward. It frees me and gives me better tools to continue on the quest I was already on.
My point is that we all have these moments. We all have little quests that can become so consuming that they threaten to overshadow our main quest. While it isn’t a bad thing to throw yourself into whatever step you find yourself on, we can’t lose sight of our end goals. If we do, we risk either losing track of what we’re actually fighting for, or falling into despair if we fail to achieve a small step along the way, or making sacrifices to win a battle that ultimately cost us the war.
So this week, take some time to think about the big things in your life. What are you living for, beyond your next paycheque or vacation or artistic project? What is your purpose, and how are the small goals helping you to achieve that purpose?
Remember, the Master Sword helps you defeat the villain. It’s not a trophy for a job well done.