19 Dec 2014
Why Tell Stories?
We should tell stories because God tells stories. Our whole existence is a result of the story he is telling. For many years I tried living apart from God and defining my own role and claiming to be the captain of my destiny. I refused to acknowledge that God had already prepared a role for me and was inviting me into the story he was telling. It is hard to relinquish authorship and admit that God is sovereign over my story as much as he is over his own. And God is wild, he seems to enjoy setting impossible scenes and then coming through time and time again. In God’s story he sends his son to endure pain, the kind of pain that we cannot begin to imagine so that we could receive the life that is in him. At Christmas we can’t help notice God shows up as a baby. He comes as a helpless babe to do battle with Satan and evil and rescue his people. He ushers an invasion into his own creation to claim his bride and he shows up for the battle as a helpless baby.
Learning to tell my story and see themes has helped me see God at work in my life even while I was refusing to acknowledge him. My story was a merry go round where I sat on a painted wooden horse that had ups and downs but the scenery was always the same while the paint slowly chipped away. On this ride I strove to create my own contentment and happiness and my relationships suffered. I failed to understand my spiritual gifts and they went unused. I held myself up to high standards and beat myself up when I couldn’t meet them. I took pleasures along the way, but they never lasted. I was caught in the merry go round, I rode around again and again looking for the next opportunity to feel good, but never gaining real contentment. When I stopped talking and started listening to God’s story, my story and its consequences started making sense. God’s story provides context for the ache in my heart. Learning to tell my story showed me that by myself I could never get what I wanted because I would never want the best.
Accepting my role in God’s story and sharing it has given me opportunity to trust that he has the best adventure in mind for me. Conversational intimacy with him has enabled me to mature as a man and offer myself to a woman in marriage. I am able to approach relationships through the lens of God’s story, learn and practice the spiritual gifts he has given to me and find godly contentment. I am able to see that through story God gives everyone the opportunity to have purpose/calling and significance.
Consider how he peels back the curtain to the greatest epic ever told starting in John 1 and then think about how this incredible beginning to his story is culminating with you hearing his voice, responding and taking a leading role.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.”